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74 Beekman St., 





Early Renaissance, . 


Roman Renaissance, 

Grotesque Renaissance, 





1. Architect of the Ducal Palace, 

2. Theology of Spenser, 

3. Austrian Government in Italy, 

4. Date of the Palaces of the Byzantine Renaissance, 

5. Renaissance Side of Ducal Palace, 

6. Character of the Doge Michele Morosini, 

7. Modern Education, 








8. Early Venetian Marriages, ..... 222 

9. Character of the Venetian Aristocracy, . . . .223 
10. Final Appendix, ....... 224 


I. Personal Index, ....... 263 

II. Local Index, . . . . . . . 268 

III. Topical Index, ....... 271 

IV. Venetian Index, . 287 


Facing Page 

PLATE 1. Temperance and Intemperance in Ornament, . . 6 

2. Gothic Capitals, ... . . 8 

" 3. Noble and Ignoble Grotesque, . . . . 125 

4 Mosaic of Olive Tree and Flowers, . . 179 

" 5. Byzantine Bases, ...... 225 

" 6. Byzantine Jambs, . ... 229 

" 7. Gothic Jambs, 230 

8. Byzantine Archivolts, ..... 244 

9. Gothic Archivolts, ...... 245 

" 10. Cornices, 248 

" 11. Tracery Bars, ...... 252 

" 12. Capitals of Fondaco de Turchi, . . . 304 






i. I TRUST that the reader has been enabled, by the pre- 
ceding chapters, to form some conception of the magnificence 
of the streets of Venice during the course of the thirteenth 
and fourteenth centuries. Yet by all this magnificence she 
was not supremely distinguished above the other cities of the 
middle ages. Her early edifices have been preserved to our 
times by the circuit of her waves ; while continual recurrences 
of ruin have defaced the glory of her sister cities. But such 
fragments as are still left in their lonely squares, and in the 
corners of their streets, so far from being inferior to the build- 
ings of Venice, are even more rich, more finished, more ad- 
mirable in invention, more exuberant in beauty. And al- 
though, in the North of Europe, civilization was less advanced, 
and the knowledge of the arts was more confined to the ecclesi- 
astical orders, so that, for domestic architecture, the period of 
perfection must be there placed much later than in Italy, and 
considered as extending to the middle of the fifteenth cen- 
tury ; yet, as each city reached a certain point in civilization, 
its streets became decorated with the same magnificence, varied 


only in style according to the materials at hand, and temper 
of the people. And I am not aware of any town of wealth 
and importance in the middle ages, in which some proof does 
not exist, that, at its period of greatest energy and prosperity,, 
its streets were inwrought with rich sculpture, and even 
(though in this, as before noticed, Venice always stood 
supreme) glowing with color arid with gold. Now, there- 
fore, let the reader, forming for himself as vivid and real a 
conception as he is able, either of a group of Venetian palaces 
in the fourteenth century, or, if he likes better, of one of the 
more fantastic but even richer street scenes of Kouen, Ant- 
werp, Cologne, or Nuremberg, and keeping this gorgeous 
image before him, go out into any thoroughfare, representa- 
tive, in a general and characteristic way, of the feeling for 
domestic architecture in modern times ; let him, for instance, 
if in London, walk once up and down Haiiey Street, or Baker 
Street, or Gower Street ; and then, looking upon this picture 
and on this, set himself to consider (for this is to be the sub- 
ject of our following and final inquiry) what have been the 
causes which have induced so vast a change in the European 

ii. Renaissance architecture is the school which has con- 
ducted men's inventive and constructive faculties from the 
Grand Canal to Gower Street ; from the marble shaft, and the 
lancet arch, and the wreathed leafage, and the glowing and 
melting harmony of gold and azure, to the square cavity in 
the brick wall. "We have now to consider the causes and the 
steps of this change ; and, as we endeavored above to investi- 
gate the nature of Gothic, here to investigate also the nature 
of Renaissance. 

in. Although Renaissance architecture assumes very dif- 
ferent forms among different nations, it may be conveniently 
referred to three heads : Early Renaissance, consisting of the 
first corruptions introduced into the Gothic schools : Central 
or Roman Renaissance, which is the perfectly formed style : 
and Grotesque Renaissance, which is the corruption of the 
Renaissance itself. 


iv. Now, in order to do full justice to the adverse cause, 
we will consider the abstract nature of the school with refer- 
ence only to its best or central examples. The forms of build- 
ing which must be classed generally under the term early 
Renaissance are, in many cases, only the extravagances and 
corruptions of the languid Gothic, for whose errors the classi- 
cal principle is in no wise answerable. It was stated in the 
second chapter of the " Seven Lamps," that, unless luxury had 
enervated and subtlety falsified the Gothic forms, Roman 
traditions could not have prevailed against them; and, al- 
though these enervated and false conditions are almost in- 
stantly colored by the classical influence, it would be utterly 
unfair to lay to the charge of that influence the first debase- 
ment of the earlier schools, which had lost the strength of 
their system before they could be struck by the plague. 

v. The manner, however, of the debasement of all 
schools of art, so far as it is natural, is in all ages the same ; 
luxuriance of ornament, refinement of execution, and idle sub- 
tleties of fancy, taking the place of true thought and firm 
handling : and I do not intend to delay the reader long by the 
Gothic sick-bed, for our task is not so much to watch the wast- 
ing of fever in the features of the expiring king, as to trace 
the character of that Hazael who dipped the cloth in water, 
and laid it upon his face. Nevertheless, it is necessary to the 
completeness of our view of the architecture of Venice, as 
well as to our understanding of the manner in which the Cen- 
tral Renaissance obtained its universal dominion, that we 
glance briefly at the principal forms into which Venetian 
Gothic first declined. They are two in number : one the cor- 
ruption of the Gothic itself ; the other a partial return to By- 
zantine forms ; for the Venetian mind having carried the 
Gothic to a point at which it was dissatisfied, tried to retrace 
its steps, fell back first upon Byzantine types, and through them 
passed to the first Roman. But in thus retracing its steps, 
it does not recover its own lost energy. It revisits the places 
through which it had passed in the morning light, but it is now 
with wearied limbs, and under the gloomy shadows of evening. 


vi. It has just been said that the two principal causes of 
natural decline in any school, are over-luxuriance and over- 
refinement. The corrupt Gothic of Yen ice furnishes us with 
a curious instance of the one, and the corrupt Byzantine of 
the other. We shall examine them in succession. 

Now, observe, first, I do not mean by luxuriance of orna- 
ment, quantity of ornament. In the best Gothic in the world 
there is hardly an inch of stone left unsculptured. But I mean 
that character of extravagance in the ornament itself which 
shows that it was addressed to jaded faculties ; a violence and 
coarseness in curvature, a depth of shadow, a lusciousness in 
arrangement of line, evidently arising out of an incapability of 
feeling the true beauty of chaste form and restrained power. 
I do not know any character of design which may be more 
easily recognized at a glance than this over-lusciousness ; and 
yet it seems to me that at the present day there is nothing so 
little understood as the essential difference between chasteness 
and extravagance, whether in color, shade, or lines. We speak 
loosely and inaccurately of " overcharged " ornament, with an 
obscure feeling that there is indeed something in visible Form 
which is correspondent to Intemperance in moral habits ; but 
without any distinct detection of the character which offends 
us, far less with any understanding of the most important 
lesson which there can be no doubt was intended to be con- 
veyed by the universality of this ornamental law. 

vii. In a word, then, the safeguard of highest beauty, in 
all visible work, is exactly that which is also the safeguard of 
conduct in the soul, Temperance, in the broadest sense ; the 
Temperance which we have seen sitting on an equal throne 
with Justice amidst the Four Cardinal Virtues, and, wanting 
which, there is not any other virtue which may not lead us 
into desperate error. Now, observe: Temperance, in the 
nobler sense, does not mean a subdued and imperfect energy ; 
it does not mean a stopping short in any good thing, as in 
Love or in Faith ; but it means the power which governs the 
most intense energy, and prevents its acting in any way but 


as it ought. And with respect to things in which there may 
be excess, it does not mean imperfect enjoyment of them ; but 
the regulation of their quantity, so that the enjoyment of them 
shall be greatest. For instance, in the matter we have at 
present in hand, temperance in color does not mean imperfect 
or dull enjoyment of color ; but it means that government of 
color which shall bring the utmost possible enjoyment out of 
all hues. A bad colorist does not love beautiful color better 
than the best colorist does, nor half so much. But he indulges 
in it to excess ; he uses it in large masses, and unsubdued ; 
and then it is a law of Kature, a law as universal as that of 
gravitation, that he shall not be able to enjoy it so much as if 
he had used it in less quantity. His eye is jaded and satiated, 
and the blue and red have life in them no more. He tries to 
paint them bluer and redder, in vain : all the blue has become 
grey, and gets greyer the more he adds to it ; all his crimson 
has become brown, and gets more sere and autumnal the more 
he deepens it. But the great painter is sternly temperate in 
his work ; he loves the vivid color with all his heart ; but for 
a long time he does not allow himself anything like it, nothing 
but sober browns and dull greys, and colors that have no con- 
ceivable beauty in them ; but these by his government become 
lovely : and after bringing out of them all the life and power 
they possess, and enjoying them to the uttermost, cautiously, 
and as the crown of the work, and the consummation of its 
music, he permits the momentary crimson and azure, and the 
whole canvas is in a flame. 

vni. Again, in curvature, which is the cause of loveliness 
in all form ; the bad designer does not enjoy it more than the 
great designer, but he indulges in it till his eye is satiated, and 
he cannot obtain enough of it to touch his jaded feeling for 
grace. But the great and temperate designer does not allow 
himself any violent curves; he works much with lines in 
which the curvature, though always existing, is long before it 
is perceived. He dwells on all these subdued curvatures to the 
uttermost, and opposes them with still severer lines to bring 


them out in fuller sweetness ; and, at last, he allows himself a 
momentary curve of energy, and all the work is, in an instant. 
full of life and grace. 

The curves drawn in Plate VII. of the first volume, were 
chosen entirely to show this character of dignity and restraint, 
as it appears in the lines of nature, together with the per- 
petual changefulness of the degrees of curvature in one and 
the same line ; but although the purpose of that plate w:is 
carefully explained in the chapter which it illustrates, as well 
as in the passages of " Modern Painters" therein referred to 
(vol. ii. pp. 43, 79), so little are we now in the habit of con- 
sidering the character of abstract lines, that it was thought by 
many persons that this plate only illustrated Hogarth's re- 
versed line of beauty, even although the curve of the salvia 
leaf, which was the one taken from that plate for future use, 
in architecture, was not a reversed or serpentine curve at all. 
I shall now, however, I hope, be able to show my meaning 

ix. Fig. 1 in Plate I., opposite, is a piece of ornamenta- 
tion from a Gorman-French manuscript of the thirteenth 
century, and fig. 2 from an Italian one of the fifteenth. Ob- 
serve in the first its stern moderation in curvature ; the gradu- 
ally united lines nearly straight, though none quite straight, 
used for its main limb, and contrasted with the bold but 
simple offshoots of its leaves, and the noble spiral from which 
it shoots, these in their turn opposed by the sharp trefoils 
and thorny cusps. And see what a reserve of resource there 
is in the whole; how easy it would have been to make the 
curves more, palpable and the foliage more rich, and how the 
noble hand has stayed itself, and refused to grant one wave of 
motion more. 

x. Then observe the other example, in which, while the 
same idea is continually repeated, excitement and interest are 
sought for by means of violent and continual curvatures wholly 
unrestrained, and rolling hither and thither in confused wan- 
tonness. Compare the character of the separate lines in these 
two examples carefully, and be assured that wherever this 


Temperance and Intemperance, 



redundant and luxurious curvature shows itself in ornamenta- 
tion, it is a sign of jaded energy and failing invention. Do 
not confuse it with fulness or richness. Wealth is not neces- 
sarily wantonness : a Gothic moulding may be buried half a 
foot deep in thorns and leaves, and yet will be chaste in every 
line ; and a late Renaissance moulding may be utterly barren 
and poverty-stricken, and yet will show the disposition to lux- 
ury in every line. 

xi. Plate XX., in the second volume, though prepared 
for the special illustration of the notices of capitals, becomes 
peculiarly interesting when considered. in relation to the points 
at present under consideration. The four leaves in the upper 
row are Byzantine ; the two middle rows are transitional, all 
but fig. 11, which is of the formed Gothic ; fig. 12 is perfect 
Gothic of the finest time (Ducal Palace, oldest part), fig. 13 is 
Gothic beginning to decline, fig. 14 is Renaissance Gothic in 
complete corruption. 

Now observe, first, the Gothic naturalism advancing gradu- 
ally from the Byzantine severity ; how from the sharp, hard, 
formalized conventionality of the upper series the leaves grad 
nally expand into more free and flexible animation, until in 
fig. 12 we have the perfect living leaf as if fresh gathered out 
of the dew. And then, in the last two examples and partly in 
fig. 11, observe how the forms which can advance no longer 
in animation, advance, or rather decline, into luxury and effemi- 
nacy as the strength of the school expires. 

xn. In the second place, note that the Byzantine and 
Gothic schools, however differing in degree of life, are both 
alike in temperance, though the temperance of the Gothic is 
the nobler, because it consists with entire animation. Observe 
how severe and subtle the curvatures are in all the leaves 
from fig. 1 to fig. 12, except only in fig. 11 ; and observe 
especially the firmness and strength obtained by the close 
approximation to the straight line in the lateral ribs of the 
leaf, fig. 12. The longer the eye rests on these temperate curva- 
tures the more it will enjoy them, but it will assuredly in the 
nd be wearied by the morbid exaggeration of the last example. 


xm. Finally, observe and this is very important how- 
one and the same character in the work may be a sign of 
totally different states of mind, and therefore in one case bad, 
and in the other good. The examples, fig. 3. and fig. 12., are 
both equally pure in line ; but one is subdivided in the ex- 
treme, the other broad in the extreme, and both are beautiful. 
The Byzantine mind delighted in the delicacy of subdivision 
which nature shows in the fern-leaf or parsley-leaf; and so, 
also, often the Gothic mind, much enjoying the oak, thorn, 
and thistle. But the builder of the Ducal Palace used great 
breadth in his foliage, in order to harmonize with the broad 
surface of his mighty wall, and delighted in this breadth as 
nature delights in the sweeping freshness of the dock-leaf or 
water-lily. Both breadth and subdivision are thus nobie, when 
they are contemplated or conceived by a mind in health ; and 
both become ignoble, when conceived by a mind jaded and 
satiated. The subdivision in fig. 13 as compared with the 
type, fig. 12, which it was intended to improve, is the sign, 
not of a mind which loved intricacy, but of one which could 
not relish simplicity, which had not strength enough to enjoy 
the broad masses of the earlier leaves, and cut them to pieces 
idly, like a child tearing the book which, in its weariness, it 
cannot read. And on the other hand, we shall continually 
find, in other examples of work of the same period, an un- 
wholesome breadth or heaviness, which results from the mind 
having no longer any care for refinement or precision, nor 
taking any delight in delicate forms, but making all things 
blunted, cumbrous, and dead, losing at the same time the sense 
of the elasticity and spring of natural curves. It is as if the 
soul of man, itself severed from the root of its health, and 
about to fall into corruption, lost the perception of life in all 
things around it ; and could no more distinguish the wave of 
the strong branches, full of muscular strength and sanguine 
circulation, from the lax bending of a broken cord, nor the 
sinuousness of the edge of the leaf, crushed into deep folds by 
the expansion of its living growth, from the wrinkled contrac- 


tv 1 1 * 

Gothic Capitals. 


tion of its decay.* Thus, in morals, there is a care for trifles 
which proceeds from love and conscience, and is most holy ; 
and a care for trifles which comes of idleness and frivolity, and 
is most base. And so, also, there is a gravity proceeding from 
thought, which is most noble ; and a gravity proceeding from 
dulness and mere incapability of enjoyment, which is most 
base. Now, in the various forms assumed by the later Gothic 
of Venice, there are one or two features which, under other 
circumstances, would not have been signs of decline ; but, in 
the particular manner of their occurrence here, indicate the 
fatal weariness of decay. Of all these features the most dis- 
tinctive are its crockets and finials. 

xiv. There is not to be found a single crocket or finial 
upon any part of the Ducal Palace built during the fourteenth 
century ; and although they occur on contemporary, and on 
some much earlier, buildings, they either indicate detached 
examples of schools not properly Venetian, or are signs of 
incipient decline. 

The reason of this is, that the finial is properly the orna- 
ment of gabled architecture; it is the compliance, in the 
minor features of the building, with the spirit of its towers^ 
ridged roof, and spires. Venetian building is not gabled, but 
horizontal in its roots and general masses ; therefore the finial 
is a feature contradictory to its spirit, and adopted only in that 
search for morbid excitement which is the infallible indication 
of decline. When it occurs earlier, it is on fragments of 
true gabled architecture, as, for instance, on the porch of the 

In proportion to the unjustifiableness of its introduction 
was the extravagance of the form it assumed ; becoming,, 
sometimes, a tuft at the top of the ogee windows, half as high 
as the arch itself, and consisting, in the richest examples, of a 
human figure, half emergent out of a cup of leafage, as, for 

* There is a curious instance of this in the modern imitations of the 
Gothic capitals of the Casa d' Oro, employed in its restorations. The old 
capitals look like clusters of leaves, the modern ones like kneaded masses 
of dough with holes in them. 


instance, in the small archway of the Campo San Zaccaria : 
while the crockets, as being at the side of the arch, and not 
so strictly connected with its balance and symmetry, appear to 
consider themselves at greater liberty even than the finials, and 
fling themselves, hither and thither, in the wildest contortions. 
Pig. 4. in Plate I, is the outline of one, carved in stone, from 
the later Gothic of St. Mark's ; fig. 3 a crocket from the fine 
Veronese Gothic ; in order to enable the reader to discern the 
Renaissance character better by comparison with the examples 
of curvature above them, taken from the manuscripts. And 
not content with this exuberance in the external ornaments of 
the 'arch, the finial interferes with its traceries. The increased 
intricacy of these, as such, being a natural process in the de- 
velopement of Gothic, would have been no evil ; but they are 
corrupted by the enrichment of the finial at the point of the 
cusp, corrupted, that is to say, in Venice : for at Yerona the 
finial, in the form of a fleur-de-lis, appears long previously at 
the cusp point, with exquisite effect ; and in our own best 
Northern Gothic it is often used beautifully in this place, as 
in the window from Salisbury, Plate XII. (Vol. II.), fig. 2. 
But in Yenice, such a treatment of it was utterly contrary to 
the severe spirit of the ancient traceries ; and the adoption of 
a leafy finial at the extremity of the cusps in the door of San 
Stefano, as opposed to the simple ball which terminates those 
of the Ducal Palace, is an unmistakable indication of a ten- 
dency to decline. 

In like manner, the enrichment and complication of the 
jamb mouldings, which, in other schools, might and did take 
place in the healthiest periods, are, at Yenice, signs of decline, 
owing to the entire inconsistency of such mouldings with the 
ancient love of the single square jamb and archivolt. The 
process of enrichment in them is shown by the successive ex- 
amples given in Plate VII., below. They are numbered, and 
explained in the Appendix. 

xv. The date at which this corrupt form of Gothic first 
prevailed over the early simplicity of the Venetian types can 
be determined in an instant, on the steps of the choir of the 


Church of St. John and Paul. On our left hand, as we enter, 
is the tomb of the Doge Marco Cornaro, who died in 1367. 
It is rich and fully developed Gothic, with crockets and finials, 
but not yet attaining any extravagant developement. Oppo- 
site to it is that of the Doge Andrea Morosini, who died in 
1382. Its Gothic is voluptuous, and over-wrought ; the crock- 
ets are bold and florid, and the enormous finial represents a 
statue of St. Michael. There is no excuse for the antiquaries 
who, having this tomb before them, could have attributed the 
severe architecture of the Ducal Palace to a later date; for 
every one of the Renaissance errors is here in complete de- 
velopement, though not so grossly as entirely to destroy the 
loveliness of the Gothic forms. In the Porta della Carta, 
1423, the vice reaches its climax. 

xvi. Against this degraded Gothic, then, came up the 
Renaissance armies ; and their first assault was in the require- 
ment of universal perfection. For the first time since the 
destruction of Rome, the world had seen, in the work of the 
greatest artists of the fifteenth century, in the painting of 
Ghirlandajo, Masaccio, Francia, Perugino, Pinturicchio, and 
Bellini ; in the sculpture of Mino da Fiesole, of Ghiberti, and 
Yerrocchio, a perfection of execution and fulness of knowl- 
edge which cast all previous art into the shade, and which, 
being in the work of those men united with all that was great 
in that of former days, did indeed justify the utmost enthu- 
siasm with which their efforts were, or could be, regarded. 
But when this perfection had once been exhibited in anything, 

I it was required in everything ; the world could no longer be 
satisfied with less exquisite execution, or less disciplined knowl- 
edge. The first thing that it demanded in all work was, that 
it should be done in a consummate and learned way ; and men 
altogether forgot that it was possible to consummate what was 
contemptible, and to know what was useless. Imperatively 
requiring dexterity of touch, they gradually forgot to look for 
tenderness of feeling ; imperatively requiring accuracy of 
knowledge, they gradually forgot to ask for originality of 
thought. The thought and the feeling which they despised 


departed from them, and they were left to felicitate them- 
selve 'ii their small science and their neat fingering. This 
is the history of the first attack of the Renaissance upon the 
( iothic schools, and of its rapid results, more fatal and immedi- 
ate in architecture than in any other art, because there the 
demand for perfection was less reasonable, and less consistent 
with the capabilities of the workman ; being utterly opposed 
to that rudeness or savageness on which, as we saw above, the 
nobility of the elder schools in great part depends. But inas- 
much as the innovations were founded on some of the most 
beautiful examples of art, and headed by some of the greatest 
men that the world ever saw, and as the Gothic with which 
they interfered was corrupt and valueless, the first appearance 
of the Renaissance feeling had the appearance of a healthy 
movement. A new energy replaced whatever weariness or 
d illness had affected the Gothic mind ; an exquisite taste and 
refinement, aided by extended knowledge, furnished the first 
models of the new school; and over the whole of Italy a style 
aro>e, generally now known as cinque-cento, which in sculpture 
and painting, as I ju>t stated, produced the noblest masters 
which the world ever saw, headed by Michael Angelo, Raphael, 
and Leonardo; but which failed of doing the same in architec- 
ture, hecau>e, as we have seen above, perfection is therein not 
p. ihle, and failed more totally than it would otherwise have 
done, becau>e the claical enthusiasm had destroyed the best 
types of architectural form. 

EL For. observe here very carefully, the Renaissance 
principle, as it consisted in a demand for universal perfection, 
i- quite distinct from the Renaissance principle as it consists 
in a demand for classical and Roman forms of perfection, 
And if I had space to follow out the subject as I should de- 
>ire. I would first endeavor to ascertain what might have been 
the course of the art of Europe if no manuscripts of classical 
authors had been recovered, a nd no remains of classical archi- 
tecture left, in the fifteenth century; so that the executive 
perfection to which the efforts of all great men had tended for 
hundred years, and which now at last was reached, might 


have been allowed to develope itself in its own natural and 
proper form, in connexion with the architectural structure of 
earlier schools. This refinement and perfection had indeed 
its own perils, and the history of later Italy, as she sank into 
pleasure and thence into corruption, would probably have 
been the same whether she had ever learned again to write 
pure Latin or not. Still the inquiry into the probable cause 
of the enervation which might naturally have followed the 
highest exertion of her energies, is a totally distinct one from 
that into the particular form given to this enervation by her 
classical learning; and it is matter of considerable regret to 
me that I cannot treat these two subjects separately : I must 
be content with marking them for separation in the mind of 
the reader. 

xvin. The effect, then, of the sudden enthusiasm for clas- 
sical literature, which gained strength during every hour of 
the fifteenth century, was, as far as respected architecture, to 
do away with the entire system of Gothic science. The 
pointed arch, the shadowy vault, the clustered shaft, the 
heaven-pointing spire, were all swept away ; and no structure 
was any longer permitted but that of the plain cross-beam 
from pillar to pillar, over the round arch, with square or cir- 
cular shafts, and a low-gabled roof and pediment: two ele- 
ments of noble form, which had fortunately existed in Eome, 
were, however, for that reason, still permitted; the cupola, 
and, internally, the waggon vault. 

xix. These changes in form were all of them unfortu- 
nate ; and it is almost impossible to do justice to the occasion- 
ally exquisite ornamentation of the fifteenth century, on ac- 
count of its being placed upon edifices of the cold and meagre 
Roman outline. There is, as far as I know, only one Gothic 
building in Europe, the Duomo of Florence, in which, though 
the ornament be of a much earlier school, it is yet so exqui- 
sitely finished as to enable us to imagine what might have 
been the effect of the perfect workmanship of the Renaissance, 
coming out of the hands of men like Yerrocchio and Ghiberti, 
had it been employed on the magnificent framework of Gothic 


structure. This is the question which, as I shall note in the 
concluding chapter, we ought to set ourselves practically to 
solve- iii modern times. 

s' \.\. The changes effected in fonn, however, were the 
least part of the evil principles of the Renaissance. As I have 
ju>t said, its main mistake, in its early stages, was the unwhole- 
some demand imperfection, at any cost. I hope enough has 
been advanced, in the chapter on the ?s attire of Gothic, to 
show the reader that perfection is not to be had from the gen- 
eral workman, but at the cost of everything, of his whole 
life, thought, and energy. And Renaissance Europe thought 
this a small price to pay for manipulative perfection. ^len 
like Yerrocchio and (rhiberti were not to be had every day, 
nor in every place ; and to require from the common workman 

ution <r knowledge like theirs, was to require him to be- 
o-nie their copyist. Their strength was great enough to 
enable them to join science with invention, method with emo- 
tion, iini>h with fire; but, in them, the invention and the fire 
were first, while Europe saw in them only the method and the 
finish. This was new to the minds of men, and they pursued 
it to the neglect of everything else. "This," they cried, "we 
must have in all our work henceforward:" and they were 

\ ed. The lower workman secured method and finish, and 
lot. iii exchange for them, his soul. 

xxi. Now, therefore, do not let me be misunderstood 
when I speak generally of the evil spirit of the Renaissance. 
The reader may look through all I have written, from first to 
last, and he will not find one word but of the most profound 

erenoe for those mighty men who could wear the Renais- 
sance armor of proof, and yet not feel it encumber their 
living limbs.* Leonardo and Michael Angelo, Ghirlandajo 
and Masaccio. Titian and Tintoret. But I speak of the Renais- 
sance as an evil time, because, when it saw those men go burn- 
ing forth into the battle, it mistook their armor for their 

that even HII-M- nidi \\cn- able to wear it altogether without harm, 

ii.ill sec in the next chapter. 


strength : and forthwith encumbered with the painful panoply 
every stripling who ought to have gone forth only with his 
own choice of three smooth stones out of the brook. 

xxn. This, then, the reader must always keep in mind 
when he is examining for himself any examples of cinque- 
cento work. When it has been done by a truly great man, 
whose life and strength could not be oppressed, and who turned 
to good account the whole science of his day, nothing is more 
exquisite. I do not believe, for instance, that there is a more 
glorious work of sculpture existing in the world than that 
equestrian statue of Bartolomeo Colleone, by Yerrocchio, of 
which, I hope, before these pages are printed, there will be a 
cast in England. But when the cinque-cento work has been 
done by those meaner men, who, in the Gothic times, though 
in a rough way, would yet have found some means of speaking 
out what was in their hearts, it is utterly inanimate, a base 
and helpless copy of more accomplished models; or, if not 
this, a mere accumulation of technical skill, in gaining which 
the workman had surrendered all other powers that were in 

There is, therefore, of course, an infinite gradation in the 
art of the period, from the Sistine Chapel down to modern up- 
holstery ; but, for the most part, since in architecture the work- 
man must be of an inferior order, it will be found that this 
cinque-cento painting and higher religious sculpture is noble, 
while the cinque-cento architecture, with its subordinate sculp- 
ture, is universally bad ; sometimes, however, assuming forms, 
in which the consummate refinement almost atones for the loss 
of force. 

xxni. This is especially the case with that second branch 
of the Renaissance which, as above noticed, was engrafted at 
Venice on the Byzantine types. So soon as the classical enthu- 
siasm required the banishment of Gothic forms, it was natural 
that the Venetian mind should turn back with affection to the 
Byzantine models in which the round arches and simple shafts, 
necessitated by recent law, were presented under a form con- 
secrated by the usage of their ancestors. And, accordingly, 


the first distinct school of architecture* which arose under the 
new dynasty, was one in which the method of inlaying marble, 
and the general forms of shaft and arch, were adopted from 
the buildings of the twelfth century, and applied with the ut- 
most possible refinements of modern skill. Both at Yerona 
and Venice the resulting architecture is exceedingly beautiful. 
At Verona it is, indeed, less Byzantine, but possesses a charac- 
ter of richness and tenderness almost peculiar to that city. At 
Venice it is more severe, but yet adorned with sculpture which, 
for sharpness of touch and delicacy of minute form, cannot be 
rivalled, ami rendered especially brilliant and beautiful by the 
introduction of those inlaid circles of colored marble, serpen- 
tine, and porphyry, by which Phillippe de Commynes was so 
much struck on his first entrance into the city. The two most 
refined buildings in this style in Venice are, the small Church 
of the Miracoli, and the Scuola di San Marco beside the Church 
of St. John and St. Paul. The noblest is the Eio Facade of 
the I )uc;il 1'alace. The Casa Dario, and Casa Manzoni, on the 
(Jrand Canal, are exquisite examples of the school, as applied 
to domestic architecture ; and, in the reach of the canal be- 
t ween the ( 'asa Foscari and the Rialto, there are several palaces, 
of which the Casa Contarini (called "delle Figure") is the 
principal, belonging to the same group, though somewhat later, 
and remarkable for the association of the Byzantine principles 
!' <<>!< >r with the severest lines of the Roman pediment, grad- 
ually Miper>edin- the round arch. The precision of chiselling 
and delicacy of proportion in the ornament and general lines 
.f these palaces cannot be too highly praised ; and I believe 
that the traveller in Venice, in general, gives them rather too 
ttle attention than too much. But while I would ask him to irondnla hoide each of them long enough to examine 
their every line. I must alflo warn him to observe, most care- 
illy, the peculiar feebleness and want of soul in the concep- 
their ornament, which mark them as belonging to a 
t decline; as well u the al.surdmode of introduction 

* Appendix 4, "Date of Palaces of Byzantine Renaissance." 


of their pieces of colored marble : these, instead of being simply 
and naturally inserted in the masonry, are placed in small circu- 
lar or oblong frames of sculpture, like mirrors or pictures, and 
are represented as suspended by ribands against the ,wall ; a 
pair of wings being generally fastened on to the circular tablets, 
as if to relieve the ribands and knots from their weight, and 
the whole series tied under the chin of a little cherub at the 
top, who is nailed against the facade like a hawk on a barn 

But chiefly let him notice, in the Casa Contarini delle 
Figure, one most strange incident, seeming to have been per- 
mitted, like the choice of the subjects at the three angles of 
the Ducal Palace, in order to teach us, by a single lesson, the 
true nature of the style in which it occurs. In the intervals 
of the windows of the first story, certain shields and torches 
are attached, in the form of trophies, to the stems of two trees 
whose boughs have been cut off, and only one or two of their 
faded leaves left, scarcely observable, but delicately sculptured 
here and there, beneath the insertions of the severed boughs. 

It is as if the workman had intended to leave us an image 
of the expiring naturalism of the Gothic school. I had not 
seen this sculpture when I wrote the passage referring to its 
period, in the first volume of this work (Chap. XX. xxxi.) : 
"Autumn came, the leaves were shed, and the eye was 
directed to the extremities of the delicate branches. The 
Renaissance frosts came,, and all perished /" 

xxiv. And the hues of this autumn of the early Renais- 
sance are the last which appear in architecture. The winter 
which succeeded was colorless as it was cold ; and although 
the Venetian painters struggled long against its influence, the 
numbness of the architecture prevailed over them at last, and 
the exteriors of all the latter palaces were built only in barren 
stone. As at this point of our inquiry, therefore, we must bid 
farewell to color, I have reserved for this place the continua- 
tion of the history of chromatic decoration, from the Byzan- 
tine period, when we left it in the fifth chapter of the second 
volume, down to its final close. 


xxv. It was above stated, that the principal difference in 
general form and treatment between the Byzantine and Gothic 
palaces was the contraction of the marble facing into the nar- 
row spaces between the windows, leaving large fields of brick 
wall perfectly bare. The reason for this appears to have been, 
that the Gothic builders were no longer satisfied with the faint 
and delicate hues of the veined marble ; they wished for some 
m<re forcible and piquant mode of decoration, corresponding 
more completely with the gradually advancing splendor of 
chivalric costume and heraldic device. What I have said 
a hove of the simple habits of life of the thirteenth century, 
in no wise refers either to costumes of state, or of military 
service; and any illumination of the thirteenth and early four- 
teenth centuries (the great period being, it seems to me, from 
1250 to 1350), while it shows a peculiar majesty and simplicity 
in the fall of the robes (often worn over the chain armor), 
indicates, at the same time, an exquisite brilliancy of color and 
power of design in the hems and borders, as well as in the 
armorial hearings with which they are charged; and while, as 
we have seen, a peculiar simplicity is found also in the fonn* 
of the architecture, corresponding to that of the folds of the 
n, its colors were constantly increasing in brilliancy and 

don, corresponding to those of the quartering of the shield, 
and of the embroidery of the mantle. 

xxvi. AVhether, indeed, derived from the quarterings of 
the kni-hts' shields, or from what other source, I know not; 
but there is one magnificent attribute of the coloring of the 
twelfth, the whole thirteenth, and the early fourteenth 
century, which I ,1.. not find definitely in any previous work, 
ii"i- afterwards in general art, though constantly, and neces- 
sarily, in that of great colorists, namely, the union of one color 
with another l,y reciprocal interference: that is to say, if a 
mass of ,,.,1 ifl to be set beside a mass of blue, a piece of the 
v.l will !. earned into the blue, and a piece of the blue ear- 
ned into the redj sometimes in nearly equal portions, as in a 
hu-M divided into four quarters, of which the uppermost on 
one Hide will be of the same color as the lowermost on the 


other; sometimes in smaller fragments, but, in the periods 
above named, always definitely and grandly, though in a thou- 
sand various ways. And I call it a magnificent principle, for 
it is an eternal and universal one, not in art only,* but in 
human life. It is the great principle of Brotherhood, not by 
equality, nor by likeness, but by giving and receiving ; the 
souls that are unlike, and the nations that are unlike, and the 
natures that are unlike, being bound into one noble whole by 
each receiving something from, and of, the others' gifts and 
the others' glory. I have not space to follow out this thought, 
it is of infinite extent and application, but I note it for the 
reader's pursuit, because I have long believed, and the whole 
second volume of " Modern Painters " was written to prove, 
that in whatever has been made by the Deity externally de- 
lightful to the human sense of beauty, there is some type of 
God's nature or of God's laws ; nor are any of His laws, in 
one sense, greater than the appointment that the most lovely 
and perfect unity shall be obtained by the taking of one nature 
into another. I trespass upon too high ground; and yet I 
cannot fully show the reader the extent of this law, but by 
leading him thus far. And it is just because it is so vast and 
so awful a law, that it has rule over the smallest things ; and 
there is not a vein of color on the lightest leaf which the 
spring winds are at this moment unfolding in the fields around 

* In the various works which Mr. Prout has written on light and shade, 
no principle will be found insisted on more strongly than this carrying of 
the dark into the light, and vice versa. It is curious to find the untaught 
instinct of a merely picturesque artist in the nineteenth century, fixing itself 
so intensely on a principle which regulated the entire sacred composition of 
the thirteenth. I say "untaught" instinct, for Mr. Prout was, throughout 
his life, the discoverer of his own principles; fortunately so, considering 
what principles were taught in his time, but unfortunately in the abstract, 
for there were gifts in him, which, had there been any wholesome influ- 
ences to cherish them, might have made him one of the greatest men of his 
age. He was great, under all adverse circumstances, but the mere wreck 
of what he might have been, if, after the rough training noticed in my 
pamphlet on Pre-Raphaelitisrn, as having fitted him for his great function 
in the world, he had met with a teacher who could have appreciated his 
powers, and directed them. 


us, but it is an illustration of an ordainment to which the 
earth and its creatures owe their continuance, and their Re- 

xxvii. It is perfectly inconceivable, until it has been 
made a subject of special inquiry, how perpetually Nature 
employs this principle in the distribution of her light and 
shade; how by the most extraordinary adaptations, apparently 
accidental, but always in exactly the right place, she contrives 
to bring darkness into light, and light into darkness ; and that 
so sharply and decisively, that at the very instant when one 
object changes from light to dark, the thing relieved upon it 
will change from dark to light, and yet so subtly that the eye 
will not detect the transition till it looks for it. The secret 
of a great part of the grandeur in all the noblest compositions 
is the doing of this delicately in degree, and broadly in mass ; 
in color it may be done much more decisively than in light 
and fhade, and, according to the simplicity of the work, with 
greater frankness of confession, until, in purely decorative 
art, as in the illumination, glass-painting, and heraldry of the 
periods, we find it reduced to segmental accuracy. Its 
masters, in high art, are Tintoret, Veronese, and 

,\iii. Together with this great principle of quartering 
is introduced another, also of very high value as far as regards 
the delight of the eye, though not of so profound meaning. 
As soon as color began to be used in broad and opposed fields, 
it was perceived that the mass of it destroyed its brilliancy, 
and it was t, ,,<]>, red by chequering it with some other color or 
colors in small.-!- quantities, mingled with minute portions of 
pure white. The two moral principles of which this is the 
. are those of Temperance and Purity; the one requiring 
the fulness of the color to be subdued, and the other that it 
-hall he subdued with.. ut losing either its own purity or that 
oi' the colors with which it is associated. 

i\. Hence arose the universal and admirable system of 
the diapered o,- che<,ucre<l hack-round of early ornamental art. 
They art completely developed in the thirteenth century, and 


extend through the whole of the fourteenth gradually yielding 
to landscape, and other pictorial backgrounds, as the designers 
lost perception of the purpose of their art, and of the value 
of color. The chromatic decoration of the Gothic palaces of 
Venice was of course founded on these two great principles, 
which prevailed constantly wherever the true chivalric and 
Gothic spirit possessed any influence. The windows, with 
their intermediate spaces of marble, were considered as the 
objects to be relieved, and variously quartered with vigorous 
color. The whole space of the brick wall was considered as a 
background ; it was covered with stucco, and painted in fresco, 
with diaper patterns. 

xxx. What ? the reader asks in some surprise, Stucco ! 
and in the great Gothic period ? Even so, but not stucco to 
imitate stone. Herein lies all the difference ; it is stucco con- 
fessed and understood, and laid on the bricks precisely as gesso 
is laid on canvas, in order to form them into a ground for 
receiving color from the human hand, color which, if well 
laid on, might render the brick wall more precious than if it 
had been built of emeralds. Whenever we wish to paint, we 
may prepare our paper as we choose ; the value of the ground 
in no wise adds to the value of the picture. A Tintoret on 
beaten gold would be of no more value than a Tintoret on 
coarse canvas ; the gold would merely be wasted. All that 
we have to do is to make the ground as good and fit for the 
color as possible, by whatever means. 

xxxi. I am not sure if I am right in applying the term 
" stucco" to the ground of fresco ; but this is of no conse- 
quence ; the reader will understand that it was white, and that 
the whole wall of the palace was considered as the page of a 
book to be illuminated : but he will understand also that the 
sea winds are bad librarians ; that, when once the painted 
stucco began to fade or to fall, the unsightliness of the defaced 
color would necessitate its immediate restoration ; and that 
therefore, of all the chromatic decoration of the Gothic palaces, 
there is hardly a fragment left. 

Happily, in the pictures of Gentile Bellini, the fresco color- 


ing of the Gothic palaces is recorded, as it still remained in 
his time ; not with rigid accuracy, but quite distinctly enough 
to enable us, by comparing it with the existing colored designs 
in the manuscripts and glass of the period, to ascertain pre- 
cisely what it niu.Nt have been. 

xxxn. The walls were generally covered with chequers 
of very warm color, a russet inclining to scarlet, more or less 
relieved with white, black, and grey; as still seen in the only 

1 1 pie which, having been executed in marble, has been per- 
fectly- preserved, the front of the Ducal Palace. This, how- 
ever, owing to the nature of its materials, was a peculiarly 
simple example; the ground is white, crossed with double 
bars of pale red, and in the centre of each chequer there is a 

i, alternately black with a red centre and red with a black 
centre where the arms cross. In painted work the grounds 
would be, of course, as varied and complicated as those of 
mamiM-ripts; but I only know of one example left, on the 
Casa Sagredo, where, on some fragments of stucco, a very 
early chequer background is traceable, composed of crimson 
quatrefoils interlaced, with cherubim stretching their wings 
tilling the intervals. A small portion of this ground is seen 
l)sid<- the window taken from the palace, Yol. II Plate 
X I II. tig. 1. 

.MM. It ought to be especially noticed, that, in all 

clu-quered patterns employed in the colored designs of these 

noble periods, the greate>t care is taken to mark that they are 

.""""" /v "' l^ ratlin- than designs themselves. Modern 

architects, in such minor imitations as they are beginning to 

attempt, endeavor to dispose the parts in the patterns so as 

to oeciip;- certain symmetrical positions with respect to the 

part* of the architecture. A Gothic builder never does this: 

be cute his -i-oun.l into pieces of the shape he requires with 

ivmorselessness, and places his windows or doors upon 

t with no regard whatever to the lines in which they cut the 

l'""'-ni: an.l. in illuminations of manuscripts, the chequer 

is constantly changed in the most subtle and arbitrary 

wuv. wherever there is the least chance of its regularity at- 


tracting the eye, and making it of importance. So intentional 
is this, that a diaper pattern is often set obliquely to the verti- 
cal lines of the designs, for fear it should appear in any way 
connected with them. 

xxxiv. On these russet or crimson backgrounds the entire 
space of the series of windows was relieved, for the most part, 
as a subdued white field of alabaster; and on this delicate and 
veined white w r ere set the circular disks of purple and green. 
The arms of the family were of course blazoned in their own 
proper colors, but I think generally on a pure azure ground ; 
the blue color is still left behind the shields in the Casa Priuli 
and one or two more of the palaces which are unrestored, and 
the blue ground was used also to relieve the sculptures of re- 
ligious subject. Finally, all the mouldings, capitals, cornices, 
cusps, and traceries, were either entirely gilded or profusely 
touched with gold. 

The whole front of a Gothic palace in Venice may, there- 
fore, be simply described as a field of subdued russet, quartered 
with broad sculptured masses of white and gold ; these latter 
being relieved by smaller inlaid fragments of blue, purple, and 
deep green. 

xxxv. Now, from the beginning of the fourteenth cen- 
tury, when painting and architecture were thus united, two 
processes of change went on simultaneously to the beginning 
of the seventeenth. The merely decorative chequerings on 
the walls yielded gradually to more elaborate paintings of 
figure-subject ; first small and quaint, and then enlarging into 
enormous pictures filled by figures generally colossal. As 
these paintings became of greater merit and importance, the 
architecture with which they were associated was less studied ; 
and at last a style was introduced in which the framework of 
the building was little more interesting than that of a Man- 
chester factory, but the whole space of its walls was covered 
with the most precious fresco paintings. Such edifices are of 
course no longer to be considered as forming an architectural 
school ; they were merely large preparations of artists' panels ; 
and Titian, Giorgione, and Veronese no more conferred merit 


on the later architecture of Venice, as such, by painting on its 

les, than Landseer or "Watts could confer merit on that 

of London by first whitewashing and then painting its brick 

- from one end to the other. 

xxxvi. Contemporarily with this change in the relative 
values of the color decoration and the stonework, one equally 
important was taking place in the opposite direction, but of 
course in another group of buildings. For in proportion as 
the architect felt himself thrust aside or forgotten in one edi- 
fice, he endeavored to make himself principal in another ; and, 
in retaliation for the painter's entire usurpation of certain 
tit-Ids of design, succeeded in excluding him totally from those 
in which his own influence was predominant. Or, more accu- 
rately speaking, the architects began to be too proud to receive 
a>.-i>tance from the colorists ; and these latter sought for 
ground which the architect had abandoned, for the unre- 
M rah ied display of their own skill. And thus, while one 
series of edifices is continually becoming feebler in design and 
richer in superimposed paintings, another, that of which we 
have so often spoken as the earliest or Byzantine Kenaissance, 
fragment by fragment rejects the pictorial decoration ; supplies 
its place first with marbles, and then, as the latter are felt by 
the architect, daily increasing in arrogance and deepening in 
coldness, to be too bright for his dignity, he casts even these 
aside one by one: and when the last porphyry circle has van- 
i from the facade, we find two palaces standing side by 
>ide. <>ne built, so far as mere masonry goes, with consummate 
<-.nv and >kill, but without the slightest vestige of color in any 
part of it; the other utterly without any claim to interest in 
.'vhitcctural form, but covered from top to bottom with 
paintings by Veronese. At this period, then, we bid farewell 
to color, K-a v ing the painters to their own peculiar field; and 
"nly re-retting that they waste their noblest work on walls, 
from which in a couple of centuries, if not before, the greater 
part ,,f their lahor mu>t he effaced. On the other hand, the 
aivhitectuiv whose decline we are tracing, has now assumed 
an entirely new condition, that of the Central or True Re- 


naissance, whose nature we are to examine in the next 

xxxvu. But before leaving these last palaces over which 
the Byzantine influence extended itself, there is one more 
lesson to be learned from them of much importance to us. 
Though in many respects debased in style, they are consum- 
mate in workmanship, and unstained in honor ; there is no im- 
perfection in them, and no dishonesty. That there is absolutely 
no imperfection, is indeed, as we have seen above, a proof of 
their being wanting in the highest qualities of architecture'; 
but, as lessons in masonry, they have their value, and* may well 
be studied for the excellence they display in methods of level- 
ling stones, for the precision of their inlaying, and other such 
qualities, which in them are indeed too principal, yet very in- 
structive in their particular way. 

xxxvin. For instance, in the inlaid design of the dove 
with the olive branch, from the Casa Trevisan (Vol. I. Plate 
XX. p. 358), it is impossible for anything to go beyond the 
precision with which the olive leaves are cut out of the white 
marble ; and, in some wreaths of laurel below, the rippled edge 
of each leaf is as finely and easily drawn, as if by a delicate 
pencil. No Florentine table is more exquisitely finished than 
the facade of this entire palace ; and as ideals of an executive 
perfection, which, though we must not turn aside from our 
main path to reach it, may yet with much advantage be kept in 
our sight and memory, these palaces are most notable amidst 
the architecture of Europe. The Eio Facade of the Ducal 
Palace, though very sparing in color, is yet, as an example of 
finished masonry in a vast building, one of the finest things, 
not only in Venice, but in the world. It differs from other 
work of the Byzantine Renaissance, in being on a very large 
scale ; and it still retains one pure Gothic character, which adds 
not a little to its nobleness, that of perpetual variety. There 
is hardly one window of it, or one panel, that is like another ; 
and this continual change so increases its apparent size by con- 
fusing the eye, that, though presenting no bold features, or 
striking masses of any kind, there are few things in Italy more; 


impressive than the vision of it overhead, as the gondola glides 
fr.,m beneath the Bridge of Sighs. And lastly (unless we are 
to blame these buildings for some pieces of very childish per- 
spective), they are magnificently honest, as well as perfect. I 
do not remember even any gilding upon them; all is pure 
marble, and of the finest kind.* 

And therefore, in finally leaving the Ducal Palace,f let us 
take with us one more lesson, the last which we shall receive 
from the Stones of Venice, except in the form of a warning. 

xxxix. The school of architecture which we have just 
been examining is, as we have seen above, redeemed from 
severe condemnation by its careful and noble use of inlaid 
marbles as a means of color. From that time forward, this art 
has been unknown, or despised ; the frescoes of the swift and 
daring Venetian painters long contended with the inlaid 
marl ilcs, outvying them with color, indeed more glorious than 
theirs, but fugitive as the hues of woods in autumn ; and, at 
last, as the art itself of painting in this mighty manner failed 
fr tin among men, \ the modern decorative system established 
itself, which united the meaninglessness of the veined marble 
with the evanescence of the fresco, and completed the harmony 
by falsehood. 

XL. Since first, in the second chapter of the " Seven 
Lamps," I endeavored to show the culpableness, as well as the 
baseness, of our common modes of decoration by painted imi- 

* There may, however, be a kind of dishonesty even in the use of 
marblr. if it is attempted to make the marble look like something else. See 
the final or Venetian Index under head "Scalzi." 

f Appendix :>. Kenaissance Side of Ducal Palace." 

\ We have, as far as I know, at present among us, only one painter, G. 
F. Watt-;, \\iio is capable of design in color on a large scale. He stands 
al..n- .-1111011-; our artists of the old school, in his perception of the value of 
breadth in distant masses, and in the vigor of invention by which such 
l.r.-adth must | M . sustain, -d ; and his power of expression and depth of 
tliouirlit an- not Irss remarkable than his bold conception of color effect. 
Very probably some of the Pre-Raphaelites have the gift also; I am nearly 
certain that Rosetti has it, and 1 think also Millais; but the experiment has 
yet to be tried. I wish it could be made in Mr. Hope's church in Margaret 


tation of various woods or marbles, the subject has been dis- 
cussed in various architectural works, and is evidently becoming 
one of daily increasing interest. When it is considered how 
many persons there are whose means of livelihood consist alto- 
gether in these spurious arts, and how difficult it is, even for 
the most candid, to admit a conviction contrary both to their 
interests and to their inveterate habits of practice and thought, 
it is rather a matter of wonder, that the cause of Truth should 
have found even a few maintainers, than that it should have 
encountered a host of adversaries. It has, however, been de- 
fended repeatedly by architects themselves, and so successfully, 
that I believe, so far as the desirableness of this or that method 
of ornamentation is to be measured by the fact of its simple 
honesty or dishonesty, there is little need to add anything to 
what has been already urged upon the subject. But there are 
some points connected with the practice of imitating marble, 
which I have been unable to touch upon until now, and by the 
consideration of which we may be enabled to see something of 
the policy of honesty in this matter, without in the least aban- 
doning the higher ground of principle. 

XLI. Consider, then, first, what marble seems to have been 
made for. Over the greater part of the surface of the world, 
we find that a rock has been providentially distributed, in a 
manner particularly pointing it out as intended for the service of 
man. Not altogether a common rock, it is yet rare enough to 
command a certain degree of interest and attention wherever 
it is found ; but not so rare as to preclude its use for any pur- 
pose to which it is fitted. It is exactly of the consistence 
which is best adapted for sculpture : that is to say, neither hard 
nor brittle, nor flaky nor splintery, but uniform, and delicately, 
yet not ignobly, soft, exactly soft enough to allow the sculp- 
tor to work it without force, and trace on it the finest lines of 
finished form ; and yet so hard as never to betray the touch or 
moulder away beneath the steel ; and so admirably crystallized, 
and of such permanent elements, that no rains dissolve it, no 
time changes it, no atmosphere decomposes it : once shaped, it 
is shaped for ever, unless subjected to actual violence or attri- 


This rock, then, is prepared by Nature for the sculptor 
MM, I architect, just as paper is prepared by the manufacturer 
for tlie artist, with as great-nay, with greater care, and more 
perfect adaptation of the material to the requirements. And 
of this marble paper, some is white and some colored; but 
more is colored than white, because the white is evidently 
meant for sculpture, and the colored for the covering of large 


XLII. Now, if we would take Nature at her word, and use 
this precious paper which she has taken so much care to pro- 
vide for us (it is a long process, the making of that paper; the 
pulp of it needing the subtlest possible solution, and the press- 
ing of it for it is all hot-pressedhaving to be done under 
the sea, or under something at least as heavy) ; if, I say, we use 
it as Nature would have us, consider what advantages would 
follow. The colors of marble are mingled for us just as if on 
a prepared palette. They are of all shades and hues (except 
bad ones), some being united and even, some broken, mixed, 
and interrupted, in order to supply, as far as possible, the want 
of the painter's power of breaking and mingling the color with 
tlu- brush. But there is more in the colors than this delicacy 
of adaptation. There is history in them. By the manner in 
which they a iv ar ranged in every piece of marble, they record 
the means by which that marble has been produced, and the 
6ucceive changes through which it has passed. And in all 
their \ein> and /<>ne>, and flame-like stainings, or broken and 
dix-nnnected lines, they write various legends, never untrue, 
of the 1'ornuT political state of the mountain kingdom to which 
they belonged. f its infirmities and fortitudes, convulsions and 
lidatioiis. from the beginning of time. 

N..W. if we were never in the habit of seeing anything but 
real marbles, this language of theirs would soon begin to be 
understood : that is to say, even the least observant of us 
would rceogni/.e such and such stones as forming a peculiar 
class, and would begin to inquire where they came from, and, 
at la.xt, take some feeble interest in the main question, "Why 
were only to bo found in that or the other place, and 


how they came to make a part of this mountain, and not of 
that ? And in a little while, it would not be possible to stand 
for a moment at a shop door, leaning against the pillars of it, 
without remembering or questioning of something well worth 
the memory or the inquiry, touching the hills of Italy, or 
Greece, or Africa, or Spain ; and we should be led on from 
knowledge to knowledge, until even the unsculptured walls of 
our streets became to us volumes as precious as those of our 

XLIII. But the moment we admit imitation of marble, this 
source of knowledge is destroyed. None of us can be at the 
pains to go through the work of verification. If we knew 
that every colored stone we 3aw was natural, certain ques- 
tions, conclusions, interests, would force themselves upon us 
without any effort of our own ; but we have none of us time 
to stop in the midst of our daily business, to touch and pore 
over, and decide with painful minuteness of investigation, 
whether such and such a pillar be stucco or stone. And the 
whole field of this knowledge, which Nature intended us to 
possess when we were children, is hopelessly shut out from us. 
Worse than shut out, for the mass of coarse imitations con- 
fuses our knowledge acquired from other sources; and our 
memory of the marbles we have perhaps once or twice care- 
fully examined, is disturbed and distorted by the inaccuracy 
of the imitations which are brought before us continually. 

XLIV. But it will be said, that it is too expensive to em- 
ploy real marbles in ordinary cases. It may be so : yet not 
always more expensive than the fitting windows with enor- 
mous plate glass, and decorating them with elaborate stucco 
mouldings and other useless sources of expenditure in modern 
building ; nay, not always in the end more expensive than the 
frequent repainting of the dingy pillars, which a little water 
'dashed against them would refresh from day to day, if they 
were of true stone. But, granting that it be so, in that very 
costliness, checking their common use in certain localities, is 
part of the interest of marbles, considered as history. Where 
they are not found, Nature has supplied other materials, clay 


for brick, or forest for timber, in the working of which she 
intends other characters of the human mind to be developed, 
and by the proper use of which certain local advantages will 
assuredly be attained, while the delightfulness and meaning 
of the precious marbles will be felt more forcibly in the dis- 
tricts where they occur, or on the occasions when they may be 

XLV. It can hardly be necessary to add, that, as the imi- 
tation of marbles interferes with and checks the knowledge of 
geography and geology, so the imitation of wood interferes 
with that of botany; and that our acquaintance with the 
nature-, uses, and manner of growth of the timber trees of our 
nun and of foreign countries, would probably, in the majority 
of cases, become accurate and extensive, without any labor or 
sacrifice of time, were not all inquiry checked, and all obser- 
vation betrayed, by the wretched labors of the " Grainer." 

XLVI. But this is not all. As the practice of imitation 
retards knowledge, so also it retards art. 

There is not a meaner occupation for the human mind than 
the imitation of the stains and striae of marble and wood. 
When engaged in any easy and simple mechanical occupation, 
there is still some liberty for the mind to leave the literal 
\vrk; and the clash of the loom or the activity of the fingers 
will not always prevent the thoughts from some happy expati- 
atinn in their own domains. But the grainer must think of 
what he is doing; and veritable attention and care, and occa- 
sionally considerable skill, are consumed in the doing of a 
more absolute nothing than I can name in any other depart- 
ment of painful idleness. I know not anything so humiliat- 
ing as to see a human being, with arms and limbs complete, 
and apparently a head, and assuredly a soul, yet into the hands 
f which when you have put a brush and pallet, it cannot do 
anything with them but imitate a piece of wood. It cannot 
color, it has no ideas of color ; it cannot draw, it has no ideas 
of form ; it cannot caricature, it has no ideas of humor. It is 
incapable of anything beyond knots. All its achievement, the 
entire re>ult of the daily application of its imagination and 


immortality, is to be such a piece of texture as the sun and 
dew are sucking up out of the muddy ground, and weaving 
together, far more finely, in millions of millions of growing 
branches, over every rood of waste woodland and shady hill. 

XLVII. But what is to be done, the reader asks, with men 
w r ho are capable of nothing else than this ? Nay, they may 
be capable of everything else, for all we know, and what we 
are to do with them I will try to say in the next chapter ; but 
meanwhile one word more touching the higher principles of 
action in this matter, from which we have descended to those 
of expediency. I trust that some day the language of Types 
will be more read and understood by us than it has been for 
centuries ; and when this language, a better one than either 
Greek or Latin, is again recognized amongst us, we shall find, 
or remember, that as the other visible elements of the universe 
its air, its water, and its flame set forth, in their pure 
energies, the life-giving, purifying, and sanctifying influences 
of the Deity upon His creatures, so the earth, in its purity, 
sets forth His eternity and His TRUTH. I have dwelt above 
on the historical language of stones ; let us not forget this, 
which is their theological language ; and, as we would not 
wantonly pollute the fresh waters when they issue forth in 
their clear glory from the rock, nor stay the mountain winds 
into pestilential stagnancy, nor mock the sunbeams with arti- 
ficial and ineffective light ; so let us not by our own base and 
barren falsehoods, replace the crystalline strength and burning 
color of the earth from which we were born, and to which we 
must return ; the earth which, like our own bodies, though 
dust in its degradation, is full of splendor when God's hand 
gathers its atoms ; and which was for ever sanctified by Him, 
as the symbol no less of His love than of His truth, when He 
bade the high priest bear the names of the Children of Israel 
on the clear stones of the Breastplate of Judgment. 



i. OF all the buildings in Venice, later in date than the 
final additions to the Ducal Palace, the noblest is, beyond all 
<|iie>tion, that which, having been condemned by its propri- 
etor, not many years ago, to be pulled down and sold for the 
value of its materials, was rescued by the Austrian govern- 
ment, and appropriated the government officers having no 
other use for it to the business of the Post-Office; though 
still known to the gondolier by its ancient name, the Casa 
(irimani. It is composed of three stories of the Corinthian 
order, at once simple, delicate, and sublime ; but on so colossal 
a scale, that the three-storied palaces on its right and left only 
reach to the cornice which marks the level of its first floor. Yet 
it is not at first perceived to be so vast ; and it is only when 

e expedient is employed to hide it from the eye, that by 
the sudden dwarfing of the whole reach of the Grand Canal, 
which it commands, we become aware that it is to the majesty 
of the Casa Grimani that the Eialto itself, and the whole 
irr>up of neighboring buildings, owe the greater part of their 
impreesivenees. Nor is the finish of its details less notable 
than the grandeur of their scale. There is not an erring line, 
in.r a mistaken proportion, throughout its noble front; and 
the exceeding fineness of the chiselling gives an appearance of 
lightness to the vast blocks of stone out of whose perfect union 
that front is composed. The decoration is sparing, but deli- 
Ute: the first story only simpler than the rest, in that it has 
pilasters instead of shafts, but all with Corinthian capitals, rich 
in leafage, and fruited delicately; the rest of the walls flat and 
and the mouldings sharp and shallow, so that the bold 


shafts look like crystals of beryl running through a rock of 

ii. This palace is the principal type at Venice, and one of 
the best in Europe, of the central architecture of the Renais- 
sance schools; that carefully studied and perfectly executed 
architecture to which those schools owe their principal claims 
to our respect, and which became the model of most of the 
important works subsequently produced by civilized nations. 
I have called it the Roman Renaissance, because it is founded, 
both in its principles of superimposition, and in the style of 
its ornament, upon the architecture of classic Rome at its best 
period. The revival of Latin literature both led to its adop- 
tion, and directed its form ; and the most important example 
of it which exists is the modern Roman basilica of St. Peter's. 
It had, at its Renaissance or new birth, no resemblance either 
to Greek, Gothic, or Byzantine forms, except in retaining the 
use of the round arch, vault, and dome ; in the treatment of 
all details, it was exclusively Latin ; the last links of connexion 
with mediaeval tradition having been broken by its builders in 
their enthusiasm for classical art, and the forms of true Greek 
or Athenian architecture being still unknown to them. The 
study of these noble Greek forms has induced various modifi- 
cations of the Renaissance in our own times; but the con- 
ditions which are found most applicable to the uses of modern 
life are still Roman, and the entire style may most fitly be 
expressed by the term " Roman Renaissance." 

in. It is this style, in its purity and fullest form, repre- 
sented by such buildings as the Casa Grimani at Venice (built 
by San Micheli), the Town Hall at Vicenza (by Palladio), St. 
Peter's at Rome (by Michael Angelo), St. Paul's and "White- 
hall in London (by Wren and Inigo Jones), which is the true 
antagonist of the Gothic school. The intermediate, or corrupt 
conditions of it, though multiplied over Europe, are no longer 
admired by architects, or made the subjects of their study ; 
but the finished work of this central school is still, in most 
cases, the model set before the student of the nineteenth cen- 
tury, as opposed to those Gothic, Romanesque, or Byzantine 


forms which have long been considered barbarous, and are so 
still by most of the leading men of the day. That they are, 
en the contrary, most noble and beautiful, and that the antag- 
onistic Kenaissance is, in the main, unworthy and unadmir- 
able, whatever perfection of a certain kind it may possess, it 
was my principal purpose to show, when I first undertook the 
labor of this work. It has been attempted already to put 
before the reader the various elements which unite in the 
Nature of Gothic, and to enable him thus to judge, not 
11 it -rely of the beauty of the forms which that system has 
produced already, but of its future applicability to the wants 
of mankind, and endless power over their hearts. I would 
now endeavor, in like manner, to set before the reader the 
Nature of Renaissance, and thus to enable him to compare the 
two styles under the same light, and with the same enlarged 
view of their relations to the intellect, and capacities for the 
service, of man. 

rv. It will not be necessary for me to enter at length into 
any examination of its external form. It uses, whether for its 
roofs of aperture or roofs proper, the low gable or circular 
arch : l>ut it differs from Romanesque work in attaching great 
importance to the horizontal lintel or architrave above the 
arch ; transferring the energy of the principal shafts to the 
supporting of this horizontal beam, and thus rendering the 
arch a subordinate, if not altogether a superfluous, feature. 
\ ] of rhi> arrangement has been given already at c, Fig. 
XXX\ I., p. 157, Vol. I.: and I might insist at length upon 
the absurdity of a construction in which the shorter shaft, 
which has the real weight of wall to carry, is split into two 
by tin- taller one, which has nothing to carry at all, that 
taller one being strengthened, nevertheless, as if the whole 

lit of the building bore upon it; and on the ungraceful- 
ness, never conquered in any Palladian work, of the two half- 
capitals glued, as it were, against the slippery round sides of 
th- central shaft. But it is not the form of this architecture 

oat which I would plead. Its defects are shared by many 
of the noblest forms of earlier building and might have been 


entirely atoned for by excellence of spirit. But it is the moral 
nature of it which is corrupt, and which it must, therefore, be 
our principal business to examine and expose. 

v. The moral, or immoral, elements which unite to form 
the spirit of Central Renaissance architecture are, 1 believe, in 
the main, two, Pride and Infidelity ; but the pride resolves 
itself into three main branches, Pride of Science, Pride of 
State, and Pride of System : and thus we have four separate 
mental conditions which must be examined successively. 

vi. 1. PKIDE OF SCIENCE. It would have been more 
charitable, but more confusing, to have added another element 
to our list, namely the Love of Science ; but the love is in- 
cluded in the pride, and is usually so very subordinate an ele- 
ment that it does not deserve equality of nomenclature. But, 
whether pursued in pride or in affection (how far by either we 
shall see presently), the first notable characteristic of the Re- 
naissance central school is its introduction of accurate knowl- 
edge into all its work, so far as it possesses such knowledge ; 
and its evident conviction, that such science is necessary to the 
excellence of t}ie work, and is the first thing to be expressed 
therein. So that all the forms introduced, even in its minor 
ornament, are studied with the utmost care ; the anatomy of 
all animal structure is thoroughly understood and elaborately 
expressed, and the whole of the execution skilful and practised 
in the highest degree. Perspective, linear and aerial, perfect 
drawing and accurate light and shade in painting, and true 
anatomy in all representations of the human form, drawn or 
sculptured, are the first requirements in all the work of this 

vii. Now, first considering all this in the most charitable 
light, as pursued from a real love of truth, and not from vanity, 
it would, of course, have been all excellent and admirable, had 
it been regarded as the aid of art, and not as its essence. But 
the grand mistake of the Renaissance schools lay in supposing 
that science and art are the same things, and that to advance 
in the one was necessarily to perfect the other. Whereas they 
are, in reality, things not only different, but so opposed, that 


to advance in the one is, in ninety-nine cases out of the hun- 
dred, to retrograde in the other. This is the point to which I 
would at present especially bespeak the reader's attention. 

MI. Science and art are commonly distinguished by the 
nature <.f their actions ; the one as knowing, the other as chang- 
ing, producing, or creating. But there is a still more important 
distinction in the nature of the things they deal with. Science 
deals exclusively with things as they are in themselves; and 
art exclusively with things as they affect the human senses and 
human soul.* Her work is to portray the appearance of things, 
and to deepen the natural impressions which they produce 
upon living creatures. The work of science is to substitute 
facts for appearances, and demonstrations for impressions. 
Both, observe, are equally concerned with truth ; the one with 
truth of aspect, the other with truth of essence. Art does not 
represent things falsely, but truly as they appear to mankind. 
Science studies the relations of things to each other : but art 
studies only their relations to man ; and it requires of every- 
thing which is submitted to it imperatively this, and only this, 
what that thing is to the human eyes and human heart, what 
it has to say to men, and what it can become to them : a h'eld 
of j notion just as much vaster than that of science, as the soul 
is larger than the material creation. 

ix. Take a single instance. Science informs us that the 
sun is ninety-five millions of miles distant from, and 111 times 
broader than, the earth; that we and all the planets revolve 
round it ; and that it revolves on its own axis in 25 days, 14 
hours and 4 minutes. With all this, art has nothing whatso- 
ever to do. It has no care to know anything of this kind. 
I5ut the tliin-s which it does care to know, are these: that in 
the heavens God hath set a tabernacle for the sun, "which is 
as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a 

* Or, more l>ri< tly. science has to do with facts, art with phenomena. 
To science, phenomena HIV of use only as they lead to facts; and to art 
: us.. ,,niy :i s they lmd to phenomena. I use the word "art" here 
ith reference t., the tine arta only, for the lower arts of mechanical pro- 
duction I should re> r\ ( - the word "manufacture." 


strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of 
the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it, and there is 
nothing hid from the heat thereof." 

x. This, then, being the kind of truth with which art is 
exclusively concerned, how is such truth as this to be ascer- 
tained and accumulated ? Evidently, and only, by perception 
and feeling. Never either by reasoning, or report. Nothing 
must come between Nature and the artist's sight ; nothing be- 
tween God and the artist's soul. Neither calculation nor hear- 
say, be it the most subtle of calculations, or the wisest of say- 
ings, may be allowed to come between the universe, and the 
witness which art bears to its visible nature. The whole value 
of that witness depends on its being ^-witness ; the whole 
genuineness, acceptableness, and dominion of it depend on the 
personal assurance of the man who utters it. All its victory 
depends on the veracity of the one preceding word, " Yidi." 

The whole function of the artist in the world is to be a 
seeing and feeling creature ; to be an instrument of such ten- 
derness and sensitiveness, that no shadow, no hue, no line, no 
instantaneous and evanescent expression of the visible things 
around him, nor any of the emotions which they are capable 
of conveying to the spirit which has been given him, shall 
either be left unrecorded, or fade from the book of record. ' It 
is not his business either to think, to judge, to argue, or to 
know. His place is neither in the closet, nor on the bench, 
nor at the bar, nor in the library. They are for other men 
and other work. He may think, in a by-way ; reason, now and 
then, when he has nothing better to do ; know, such fragments 
of knowledge as he can gather without stooping, or reach with- 
out pains ; but none of these things are to be his care. The 
work of his life is to be two-fold only : to see, to feel. 

xi. Nay, but, the reader perhaps pleads with me, one of 
the great uses of knowledge is to open the eyes ; to make 
things perceivable which never would have been seen, unless 
first they had been known. 

Not so. This could only be said or believed by those who 
do not know what the perceptive faculty of a great artist is, in 



comparison with that of other men. There is no great painter, 
no great workman in any art, but he sees more with the glance 
of a moment than he could learn by the labor of a thousand 
hours. God has made every man fit for his work ; He has 
given to the man whom he means for a student, the reflective, 
logical, sequential faculties ; and to the man whom He means 
for an artist, the perceptive, sensitive, retentive faculties. And 
neither of these men, so far from being able to do the other's 
work, can even comprehend the way in which it is done. The 
student has no understanding of the vision, nor the painter of 
the process ; but chiefly the student has no idea of the colossal 
grasp of the true painter's vision and sensibility. 

The labor of the whole Geological Society, for the last fifty 
years, has but now arrived at the ascertainment of those truths 
respecting mountain form which Turner saw and expressed 
with a few strokes of a camel's hair pencil fifty years ago, when 
he was a boy. The knowledge of all the laws of the planetary 
system, and of all the curves of the motion of projectiles, would 
never enable the man of science to draw a waterfall or a wave ; 
and all the members of Surgeons' Hall helping each other 
could not at this moment see, or represent, the natural move- 
ment of a human body in vigorous action, as a poor dyer's son 
did two hundred years ago.* 

xn. But surely, it is still insisted, granting this peculiar 
faculty to the painter, he will still see more as he knows more, 
and the more knowledge he obtains, therefore, the better. No ; 
not even so. It is indeed true, that, here and there, a piece of 
knowledge will enable the eye to detect a truth which might 
otherwise have escaped it ; as, for instance, in watching a sun- 
rise, the knowledge of the true nature of the orb may lead the 
pai liter to feel more profoundly, and express more fully, the 
distance between the bars of cloud that cross it, and the sphere 
of flame that lifts itself slowly beyond them into the infinite 
heaven. But, for one visible truth to which knowledge thus 
opens the eyes, it seals them to a thousand : that is to say, if 

* Tintoret. 


the knowledge occur to the mind so as to occupy its powers of 
-contemplation at the moment when the sight work is to be 
done, the mind retires inward, fixes itself upon the known fact, 
and forgets the passing visible ones ; and a 'moment of such 
forgetfulness loses more to the painter than a day's thought 
can gain. This is no new or strange assertion. Every person 
accustomed to careful reflection of any kind, knows that its 
natural operation is to close his eyes to the external world. 
While he is thinking deeply, he neither sees nor feels, even 
though naturally he may possess strong powers of sight and 
emotion. He who, having journeyed all day beside the Leman 
Lake, asked of his companions, at evening, where it was,* prob- 
ably was not wanting in sensibility ; but he was generally a 
thinker, not a perceiver. And this instance is only an extreme 
one of the effect which, in all cases, knowledge, becoming a 
subject of reflection, produces upon the sensitive faculties. It 
must be but poor and lifeless knowledge, if it has no tendency 
to force itself forward, and become ground for reflection, in 
despite of the succession of external objects. It will not obey 
their succession. The first that comes gives it food enough 
for its day's work ; it is its habit, its duty, to cast the rest aside, 
and fasten upon that. The first thing that a thinking and 
knowing man sees in the course of the day, he will not easily 
quit. It is not his way to quit anything without getting to the 
bottom of it, if possible. But the artist is bound to receive all 
things on the broad, white, lucid field of his soul, not to grasp 
at one. For instance, as the knowing and thinking man 
watches the sunrise, he sees something in the color of a ray, or 
the change of a cloud, that is new to him ; and this he follows 
out forthwith into a labyrinth of optical and pneumatical laws, 
perceiving no more clouds nor rays all the morning. But the 
painter must catch all the rays, all the colors that come, and see 
them all truly, all in their real relations and succession ; there- 
fore, everything that occupies room in his mind he must cast 

*St. Bernard. 


aside for the time, as completely as may be. The thoughtful 
man is gone far away to seek ; but the perceiving man must 
sit still, and open his heart to receive. The thoughtful man is 
knitting and sharpening himself into a two-edged sword, where- 
with to pierce. The perceiving man is stretching himself into 
a four-cornered sheet wherewith to catch. And all the breadth 
to which he can expand himself, and all the white emptiness 
into which he can blanch himself, will not be enough to receive 
what God has to give him. 

xni. What, then, it will be indignantly asked, is an 
utterly ignorant and unthinking man likely to make the best 
artist ? No, not so neither. Knowledge is good for him so 
long as he can keep it utterly, servilely, subordinate to his own 
divine work, and trample it under his feet, and out of his way, 
the moment it is likely to entangle him. 

And in this respect, observe, there is an enormous differ- 
ence between knowledge and education. An artist need not 
be a learned man, in all probability it will be a disadvantage 
to him to become so ; but he ought, if possible, always to be 
an <tlu,;ii,il man: that is, one who has understanding of his 
own uses and duties in the world, and therefore of the general 
nature of the things done and existing in the world ; and who 
has so trained himself, or been trained, as to turn to the best 
and most courteous account whatever faculties or knowledge 
lu- has. Tle mind of an educated man is greater than the 
k M..W ledge it possesses; it is like the vault of heaven, encom- 

' the earth which lives and flourishes beneath it : but the 
mind of an educated and learned man is like a caoutchouc band, 
with an everlasting spirit of contraction in it, fastening to- 
gether papers which it cannot open, and keeps others from 

Halt' our artists are mined for want of education, and by 
the possession of knowledge ; the best that I have known have 
l"vn educated, and illiterate. The ideal of an artist, however, 
is not that lie should be illiterate, but well read in the best 
books, and thoroughly high bred, both in heart and in bearing. 


In a word, he should be fit for the best society, and should 
keep out of it.* 

xiv. There are, indeed, some kinds of knowledge with 
which an artist ought to be thoroughly furnished ; those, for 
instance, which enable him to express himself ; for this knowl- 
edge relieves instead of encumbering his mind, and permits 
it to attend to its .purposes instead of wearying itself about 
means. The whole mystery of manipulation and manufacture 
should be familiar to the painter from a child. He should 
know the chemistry of all colors and materials whatsoever, and 
should prepare all his colors himself, in a little laboratory of 
his own. Limiting his chemistry to this one object, the 
amount of practical science necessary for it, and such acci- 
dental discoveries as might fall in his way in the course of his 
work, of better colors or better methods of preparing them, 
would be an infinite refreshment to his mind ; a minor subject 
of interest to which it might turn when jaded with comfortless 
labor, or exhausted with feverish invention, and yet which 
would never interfere with its higher functions, when it chose 
to address itself to them. Even a considerable amount of 
manual labor, sturdy color-grinding and canvas-stretching,, 
would "be advantageous ; though this kind of work ought ta 
be in great part done by pupils. For it is one of the condi- 
tions of perfect knowledge in these matters, that every great 
master should have a certain number of pupils, to whom he is 
to impart all the knowledge of materials and means which he 
himself possesses, as soon as possible ; so that, at any rate, by 
the time they are fifteen years old, they may know all that he 
knows himself in this kind ; that is to say, all that the world 
of artists know, and his own discoveries besides, and so never 
be troubled about methods any more. Not that the knowledge 
even of his own particular methods is to be of purpose confined 

* Society always has a destructive influence upon an artist: first by its 
sympathy with his meanest powers; secondly, by its chilling want of under- 
standing of his greatest; and, thirdly, by its vain occupation of his time 
and thoughts. Of course a painter of men must be among men ; but it 
ought to be as a watcher, not as a companion. 


to himself and his pupils, but that necessarily it must be so in 
some degree ; for only those who see him at work daily can 
understand his small and multitudinous ways of practice. 
These cannot verbally be explained to everybody, nor is it 
needful that they should, only let them be concealed from 
nobody who cares to see them ; in which case, of course, his 
attendant scholars will know them best. But all that can be 
made public in matters of this kind should be so with all speed, 
every artist .throwing his discovery into the common stock, and 
the whole body of artists taking such pains in this department 
of science as that there shall be no unsettled questions 
about any known material or method : that it shall be an 
entirely ascertained and indisputable matter which is the best 
white, and which the best brown; which the strongest can- 
vas, and safest varnish ; and which the shortest and most per- 
fect way of doing everything known up to that time : and if 
any one discovers a better, he is to make it public forthwith. 
All of them taking care to embarrass themselves with no theo- 
ries or reasons for anything, but to work empirically only : it 
not being in any wise their business to know whether light 
ni<ves in rays or in waves; or whether the blue rays of the 
spectrum move slower or faster than the rest ; but simply to 
know how many minutes and seconds such and such a powder 
must be calcined, to give the brightest blue. 

I . Now it is perhaps the most exquisite absurdity of the 
whole Renaissance system, that while it has encumbered the 
artist with every species of knowledge that is of no use to him, 
this one precious and necessary knowledge it has utterly lost. 
There is not, I believe, at this moment, a single question which 
<-<>iild IK- i >ut respecting pigments and methods, on which the 
body of livin-r artists would agree in their answers. The lives 
of arti>ts aiv passed in fruitless experiments; fruitless, because 
midim-trd l.y experience and uncommunicated in their results. 
Every man }.:,> methods of his own, which he knows to be 
in>ufficient, and yet jealously conceals from his fellow-work- 
men : every colorman lias materials of his own, to which it is 
rare that the artist can trust : and in the very front of the majes- 


tic advance of chemical science, the empirical science of the 
artist has been annihilated, and the days which should have led 
us to higher perfection are passed in guessing at, or in mourn- 
ing over, lost processes ; while the so-called Dark ages, possess- 
ing no more knowledge of chemistry than a village herbalist 
does now, discovered, established, and put into daily practice 
such methods of operation as have made their work, at this 
day, the despair of all who look upon it. 

xvi. And yet even this, to the painter, the safest of 
sciences, and in some degree necessary, has its temptations, 
and capabilities of abuse. For the simplest means are always 
enough for a great man ; and when once he has obtained a few 
ordinary colors, which he is sure will stand, and a white sur- 
face that will not darken, nor moulder, nor rend, he is master 
of the world, and of his fellow-men. And, indeed, as if in 
these times we were bent on furnishing examples of every 
species of opposite error, while we have suffered the traditions 
to escape us of the simple methods of doing simple things, 
which are enough for all the arts, and to all the ages, we have 
set ourselves to discover fantastic modes of doing fantastic 
things, 'new mixtures and manipulations of metal, and porce- 
lain, and leather, and paper, and every conceivable condition 
of false substance and cheap work, to our own infinitely mul- 
tiplied confusion, blinding ourselves daily more and more to 
the great, changeless, and inevitable truth, that there is but 
one goodness in art ; and that is one which the chemist cannot 
prepare, nor the merchant cheapen, for it comes only of a rare 
human hand, and rare human soul. 

xvn. Within its due limits, however, here is one branch 
of science which the artist may pursue ; and, within limits still 
more strict, another also, namely, the science of the appear- 
ances of things as they have been ascertained and registered 
by his fellow-men. For no day passes but some visible fact is 
pointed out to us by others, which, without their help, we 
should not have noticed ; and the accumulation and generali- 
zation of visible facts have formed, in the succession of ages, 
the sciences of light and shade, and perspective, linear and 


aerial: so that the artist is now at once put in possession of 
tain truths respecting the appearances of things, which, so 
pointed out to him, any man may in a few days understand 
ami acknowledge; but which, without aid, he could not prob- 
ably discover in his lifetime. I say, probably could not, be- 
cause the time which the history of art shows us to have been 
Actually occupied in the discovery and systematization of such 
truth, is no measure of the time necessary for such discovery. 
The lengthened period which elapsed between the earliest and 
the perfect developernent of the science of light (if I may so 
call it) was not occupied in the actual effort to ascertain its 
laws, but in acq<i<r!n<j lit* 1 disposition to make that effort. It 
did not take five centuries to lind out the appearance of natural 
objects ; but it took five centuries to make people care about 
representing them. An artist of the twelfth century did not 
desire to represent nature. His work was symbolical and 
ornamental. So long as it was intelligible and lovely, he had 
no care to make it like nature. As, for instance, when an old 
painter represented the glory round a saint's head by a bur- 
ni.-hed plate of pure gold, he had no intention of imitating an 
effect of light. He meant to tell the spectator that the figure 
so decorated was a saint, and to produce splendor of effect by 
the golden circle. It was no matter to him what light was 
like. So soon as it entered into his intention to represent the 
appearance of light, he was not long in discovering the natural 
facts necessary for his purpose. 

in. But, this being fully allowed, it is still true that 
the accumulation of facts now known respecting visible phe- 
nomena, is greater than any man could hope to gather for him- 
self, and that it is well for him to be made acquainted with 
them; provided always, that he receive them only at their 
true value, and do not suffer himself to be misled by them. I 
it their true value ; that is, an exceedingly small one. All 
the information which men can receive from the accumulated 
experience of others, is of no use but to enable them more 
.jiiicklv and accurately to see for themselves. It will in no 
take the place of this personal sight. Nothing can be 


done well in art, except by vision. Scientific principles and 
experiences are helps to the eye, as a microscope is ; and they 
are of exactly as much use without the eye. No science of 
perspective, or of anything else, will enable us to draw the 
simplest natural line accurately, unless we see it and feel it. 
Science is soon at her wits' end. All the professors of per- 
spective in Europe, could not, by perspective, draw the line of 
curve of a sea beach ; nay, could not outline one pool of the 
quiet water left among the sand. The eye and hand can do it, 
nothing else. All the rules of aerial perspective that ever 
were written, will not tell me how sharply the pines on the hill- 
top are drawn at this moment on the sky. I shall know if I 
see them, and love them ; not till then. I may study the laws 
of atmospheric gradation for fourscore years and ten, and I 
shall not be able to draw so much as a brick-kiln through its 
own smoke, unless I look at it ; and that in an entirely humble 
and unscientific manner, ready to see all that the smoke, my 
master, is ready to show me, and expecting to see nothing 

xix. So that all the knowledge a man has must be held 
cheap, and neither trusted nor respected, the moment he comes 
face to face with Nature. If it help him, well ; if not, but, on 
the contrary, thrust itself upon him in an impertinent and con- 
tradictory temper, and venture to set itself in the slightest de- 
gree in opposition to, or comparison with, his sight, let it be 
disgraced forthwith. And the slave is less likely to take too 
much upon herself, if she has not been bought for a high 
price. All the knowledge an artist needs, will, in these days, 
come to him almost without his seeking ; if he has far to look 
for it, he may be sure he does not want it. Front became 
Prout, without knowing a single rule of perspective to the end 
of his days ; and all the perspective in the Encyclopaedia will 
never produce us another Prout. 

xx. And observe, also, knowledge is not only very often 
unnecessary, but it is often untrustworthy. It is inaccurate, 
and betrays us where the eye would have been true to us. Let 
us take the single instance of the knowledge of aerial perspec- 


tive, of which the moderns are so proud, and see how it betrays 
us in various ways. First by the conceit of it, which often 
prevents our enjoying work in which higher and better things 
were thought of than effects of mist. The other day I showed 
a line impression of Albert Durer's " St. Hubert " to a modern 
engraver, who had never seen it nor any other of Albert 
I Mirer's works. He looked at it for a minute contemptuously, 
thm turned away: "Ah, I see that man did not know much 
about aerial perspective !" All the glorious work and thought 
of the mighty master, all the redundant landscape, the living 
vegetation, the magnificent truth of line, were dead letters to 
him, because he happened to have been taught one particular 
piece of knowledge which Durer despised. 

xxi. But not only in the conceit of it, but in the inaccu- 
racy of it, this science betrays us. Aerial perspective, as given 
by the modern artist, is, in nine cases out of ten, a gross and 
ridiculous exaggeration, as is demonstrable in a moment. The 
effect of air in altering the hue and depth of color is of course 
great in the exact proportion of the volume of air between the 
observer and the object. It is not violent within the first few 
yards, and then diminished gradually, but it is equal for each 
foot of interposing air. Now in a clear day, and clear climate, 
as that generally presupposed in a work of fine color, ob- 
are completely visible at a distance of ten miles; visible 
in light and shade, with gradations between the two. Take, 
thru, the faintest possible hue of shadow, or of any color, and 
the most violent and positive possible, and set them side by 
side. The interval between them is greater than the real dif- 
ference (for objects may often be seen clearly much farther 
than ten miles, 1 have seen Mont Blanc at 120) caused by the 
ten miles of intervening air between any given hue of the 
and most distant, objects; but let us assume it, in 
courtesy t.. the masters of aerial perspective, to be the real dif- 
Then ron-hly estimating a mile at less than it really 
10 in courtesy to them, or at 5000 feet, we have this differ- 
ence between tints produced by 50,000 feet of air. Then, ten 


feet of air will produce the 5000th part of this difference. Let 
the reader take the two extreme tints, and carefully gradate 
the one into the other. Let him divide this gradated shadow 
or color into 5000 successive parts ; and the difference in depth 
between one of these parts and the next is the exact amount of 
aerial perspective between one object, and another, ten feet 
behind it, on a clear day. 

xxn. Now, in Millais' " Huguenot," the figures were 
standing about three feet from the wall behind them ; and the 
wise world of critics, which could find no other fault with the 
picture, professed to have its eyes hurt by the want of an aerial 
perspective, which, had it been accurately given (as, indeed, I 
believe it was), would have amounted to the J^-SOOOth, or less 
than the 15,000th part of the depth of any given color. It 
would be interesting to see a picture painted by the critics, 
upon this scientific principle. The aerial perspective usually 
represented is entirely conventional and ridiculous ; a mere 
struggle on the part of the pretendedly well-informed, but 
really ignorant, artist, to express distances by mist which he 
cannot by drawing. 

It is curious that the critical world is just as much offended 
by the true presence of aerial perspective, over distances of 
fifty miles, and with definite purpose of representing mist, in 
the works of Turner, as by the true absence of aerial perspec- 
tive, over distances of three feet, and in clear weather, in those 
of Millais. 

xxin. " Well but," still answers the reader, " this kind of 
error may here and there be occasioned by too much respect 
for undigested knowledge; but, on the whole, the gain is 
greater than the loss, and the fact is, that a picture of the Re- 
naissance period, or by a modern master, does indeed represent 
nature more faithfully than one wrought in the ignorance of 
old times." No, not one whit ; for the most part less faithfully. 
Indeed, the outside of nature is more truly drawn ; the material 
commonplace, which can be systematized, catalogued, and 


tan-lit to all ]>ain>-taking mankind, forms of ribs and sca- 
pula-,* of rvr-l.rows and lips, and curls of hair. Whatever can be 
mraMirrd aii.l handled, dissected arid demonstrated, in a word, 
whatrvrr i> f the body only, that the schools of knowledge 
do resolutely and courageously possess themselves of, and por- 
trav. I Jut whatever is immeasurable, intangible, indivisible, 
and of the spirit, that the schools of knowledge do as certainly 
W, and blot out of their sight, that is to say, all that is worth 
art's possessing or recording at all; for whatever can be arrest- 
rd. mi-a>mvd, and systematized, we can contemplate as much 
as we will in nature herself. But what we want art to do for 
us is to stay what is fleeting, and to enlighten what is incom- 
prehensible, to incorporate the things that have no measure, 
and immortalize the things that have no duration. The dimly 
Been, momentary glance, the flitting shadow of faint emotion, 
the imperfect lines of fading thought, and all that by and 
through such things as these is recorded on the features of 

* I intended in this place to have introduced some special consideration 
of the science of anatomy, which I believe to have been in great part the 
cause of the decline of modern art; but I have been anticipated by a writer 
better alilc to treat tlic subject. I have only glanced at his book; and there 
i- something in the spirit of it which I do not like, and some parts of it are 
assuredly wrong; but, respecting anatomy, it seems to me to settle the ques- 
tion indisputably, more especially as being written by a master of the science. 
1 quote two passages, and must refer the reader to the sequel. 

" TJte *' it iitijii- nnn <>f frti/ renturies\\n,\e failed to describe so accurately, 
so beautifully, <n artistically, as Homer did, the organic elements constitut- 
ing the emblems of youth and beauty, and the waste and decay which these 
sustain by time and age. All these Homer understood better, and has de- 
scribed more truthfully than the scientific men of forty centuries. . . . 

" IV fore I approach this question, permit me to make a few remarks on 
the pre historic period of Greece; that era which seems to have produced 
nearly all the irn-.-it men. 

"On looking attentively at the statues within my observation, I cannot 
find the slightest foundation for the assertion that their sculptors must have 
directed the human frame and been well acquainted with the human ana 
lomy. They, like Homer, had discovered Nature's secret, and bestowed 
their whole attention on the exterior. The exterior they read profoundly, 
and studied deeply the //>/,/, ,//,//, aiii 1 \hcdead. Aboveall, they avoided 
displaying the dead and di-sected interior, through the exterior. They had 


man, and all that in man's person and actions, and in the great 
natural world, is infinite and wonderful ; having in it that 
spirit and power which man may witness, but not weigh ; con- 
ceive, but not comprehend ; love, but not limit ; and imagine, 
but not define ; this, the beginning and the end of the aim of 
all noble art, we have, in the ancient art, by perception ; and 
we have not, in the newer art, by knowledge. Giotto gives it 
us, Orcagna gives it us. Angelico, Memmi, Pisano, it matters 
not who, all simple and unlearned men, in their measure and 
manner, give it us ; and the learned men that followed them 
give it us not, and we, in our supreme learning, own ourselves 
at this day farther from it than ever. 

xxiv. " Nay," but it is still answered, " this is because 
we have not yet brought our knowledge into right use, but 
have been seeking to accumulate it, rather than to apply it 
wisely to the ends of art. Let us now do this, and we may 
achieve all that was done by that elder ignorant art, and infi- 

discovered that the interior presents hideous shapes, but not forms. Men 
during the philosophic era of Greece saw all this, each reading the antique 
to the best of his abilities. The man of genius rediscovered the canon of 
the ancient masters, and wrought on its principles. The greater number, 
as now, unequal to this step, merely imitated and copied those who pre- 
ceded them." Great Artists and Great Anatomists. By R. Knox, M.D. 
London, Van Voorst, 1852. 

Respecting the value of literary knowledge in general as regards art, the 
reader will also do well to meditate on the following sentences from 
Hallam's "Literature of Europe;" remembering at the same time what I 
have above said, ttiat "the root of all great art in Europe is struck in the 
thirteenth century," and that the great time is from 1250 to 1350: 

"In Germany the tenth century, Leibnitz declares, was a golden age of 
learning compared with the thirteenth. " 

"The writers of the thirteenth century display an incredible ignorance, 
not only of pure idiom, but of common grammatical rules." 

The fourteenth century was "not superior to the thirteenth in learning. 

. . We may justly praise Richard of Bury for his zeal in collecting 
books. But his erudition appears crude, his style indifferent, and his 
thoughts superficial." 

I doubt the superficialness of the thoughts : at all events, this is not a 
character of the time, though it may be of the writer; for this would affect 
art more even than literature. 


nitely more." No, not so ; for as soon as we try to put our 
knowledge to good use, we shall find that we have much more 
than we can use, and that what more we have is an encum- 
brance. All our errors in this respect arise from a gross mis- 
conception as to the true nature of knowledge itself. We 
talk of learned and ignorant men, as if there were a certain 
quantity of knowledge, which to possess was to be learned, and 
which not to possess was to be ignorant ; instead of consider- 
ing that knowledge is infinite, and that the man most learned 
in human estimation is just as far from knowing anything as 
he ought to know it, as the unlettered peasant. Men are 
merely on a lower or higher stage of an eminence, whose sum- 
mit is God's throne, infinitely above all ; and there is just as 
much reason for the wisest as for the simplest man being 
discontented with his position, as respects the real quantity 
of knowledge he possesses. And, for both of them, the only 
true reasons for contentment with the sum of knowledge they 
possess are these : that it is the kind of knowledge they need 
for their duty and happiness in life; that all they have is 

I and en-tain, so far as it is in their power; that all they 
have is well in order, and within reach when they need it ; 
that it has not cost too much time in the getting ; that none 
of it, once got, has been lost ; and that there is not too much 
to be easily taken care of. 

xxv. Consider these requirements a little, and the evils 
that result in our education and polity from neglecting them. 
Knowledge is mental food, and is exactly to the spirit what 
food is to the body (except that the spirit needs several sorts 
of food, of which knowledge is only one), and it is liable to the 
same kind of misuses. It may be mixed and disguised by art, 
till it becomes unwholesome; it maybe refined, sweetened, 
and made palatable, until it has lost all its power of nourish- 
ment ; and, even of its best kind, it maybe eaten to surfeiting, 
and minister to disease and death. 

xxvi. Therefore, with respect to knowledge, we are to and art exactly as witli respect to food. We no more 
Hv- to know, than we live to eat. We live to contemplate, 


enjoy, act, adore ; and we may know all that is to be known 
in this world, and what Satan knows in the other, without 
being able to do any of these. We are to ask, therefore, first, 
is the knowledge we would have fit food for us, good and 
simple, not artificial and decorated ? and secondly, how much 
of it will enable us best for our work ; and will leave our 
hearts light, and our eyes clear ? For no more than that is 
to be eaten without the old Eve-sin. 

xxvu. Observe, also, the difference between tasting knowl- 
edge, and hoarding it. In this respect it is also like food ; 
since, in some measure, the knowledge of all men is laid up in 
granaries, for future use ; much of it is at any given moment 
dormant, not fed upon or enjoyed, but in store. And by all 
it is to be remembered, that knowledge in this form may be 
kept without air till it rots, or in such unthreshed disorder that 
it is of no use ; and that, however good or orderly, it is still 
only in being tasted that it becomes of use ; and that men 
may easily starve in their own granaries, men of science, per- 
haps, most of all, for they are likely to seek accumulation of 
their store, rather than nourishment from it. Yet let it not 
be thought that I would undervalue them. The good and 
great among them are like Joseph, to whom all nations sought 
to buy corn ; or like the sower going forth to sow beside all 
waters, sending forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass : 
only let us remember that this is riot all men's work. We are 
not intended to be all keepers of granaries, nor all to be meas- 
ured by the filling of a storehouse ; but many, nay, most of 
us, are to receive day by day our daily bread, and shall be 
as well nourished and as fit for our labor, and often, also, fit 
for nobler and more divine labor, in feeding from the barrel 
of meal that does not waste, and from the cruse of oil that 
does not fail, than if our barns were filled with plenty, and our 
presses bursting out with new wine. 

xxvui. It is for each man to find Ms own measure in this 
matter ; in great part, also, for others to ^nd it for him, while 
he is yet a youth. And the desperate evil of the whole Re- 
naissance system is, that all idea of measure is therein forgot- 


ten, that knowledge is thought the one and the only good, 
and it is never inquired whether men are vivified by it or 
paralyzed Let us leave figures. The reader may not believe 
the analogy I have been pressing so far; but let him consider 
tin- Mil.jeet in itself, let him examine the effect of knowledge 
in his own heart, and see whether the trees of knowledge and 
of life are one now, any more than in Paradise. He must feel 
that the real animating power of knowledge is only in the 
moment of its being first received, when it fills us with won- 
der and joy ; a joy for which, observe, the previous ignorance 
is just as necessary as the present knowledge. That man is 
always happy who is iii the presence of something which he 
cannot know to the full, which he is always going on to know. 
This is the necessary condition of a finite creature with 
divinely rooted and divinely directed intelligence; this, there- 
fore, its happy state, but observe, a state, not of triumph or 
joy in what it knows, but of joy rather in the continual dis- 
covery of new ignorance, continual self-abasement, continual 
a>tonishment. Once thoroughly our own, the knowledge 

161 to irive us pleasure. It may be practically useful to us, 
it may be good for others, or good for usury to obtain more ; 
but, in itself, once let it be thoroughly familiar, and it is dead. 
The wonder is gone from it, and all the fine color which it had 
when tirst we drew it up out of the infinite sea. And what 
does it matter how much or how little of it we have laid aside, 
when our only enjoyment is still in the casting of that deep 
line ( What does it matter? Nay, in one respect, it 
matters much, and not to our advantage. For one effect of 
knowledge is to deaden the force of the imagination and the 

Jnal energy of the whole man: under the weight of his 
knowledge he cannot move so lightly as in the days of his 
.-implicity. The pack-horse is furnished for the journey, the 
war-horse is armed for war; but the freedom of the field and 
the lirl,tne>s of the limb are lost for both. Knowledge is, at 
hot. the pilgrim's burden or the soldier's panoply, often a 
wearinos to them both: and the Renaissance knowledge is 
like the Ilenai.-smce armor of plate, binding and cramping tlje 


human form; while all good knowledge is like the cru- 
sader's chain mail, which throws itself into folds with the body, 
yet it is rarely so forged as that the clasps and rivets do not 
gall us. All men feel this, though they do not think of it, 
nor reason out its consequences. They look back to the days 
of childhood as of greatest happiness, because those were the 
days of greatest wonder, greatest simplicity, and most vigor- 
ous imagination. And the whole difference between a man of 
genius and other men, it has been said a thousand times, and 
most truly, is that the first remains in great part a child, see- 
ing with the large eyes of children, in perpetual wonder, not 
conscious of much knowledge, conscious, rather, of infinite 
ignorance, and yet infinite power ; a fountain of eternal admi- 
ration, delight, and creative force within him meeting the 
ocean of visible and governable things around him. 

That is what we have to make men, so far as we may. All 
are to be men of genius in their degree, rivulets or rivers, it 
does not matter, so that the souls be clear and pure ; not dead 
walls encompassing dead heaps of things known and num- 
bered, but running waters in the sweet wilderness of things 
unnumbered and unknown, conscious only of the living banks, 
on which they partly refresh and partly reflect the flowers, 
and so pass on. 

xxix. Let each man answer for himself how far his knowl- 
edge has made him this, or how far it is loaded upon him as 
the pyramid is upon the tomb. Let him consider, also, how 
much of it has cost him labor and time that might have been 
spent in healthy, happy action, beneficial to all mankind; 
how many living souls may have been left uncomforted and 
unhelped by him, while his own eyes were failing by the mid- 
night lamp ; how many warm sympathies have died within 
him as he measured lines or counted letters ; how many 
draughts of ocean air, and steps on mountain-turf, and open- 
ings of the highest heaven he has lost for his knowledge ; how 
much of that knowledge, so dearly bought, is now forgotten 
or despised, leaving only the capacity of wonder less within 
him, and, as it happens in a thousand instances, perhaps even 


also the capacity of devotion. And let him, if, after thus 
dealing with his own heart, he can say that his knowledge 
has indeed been fruitful to him, yet consider how many there 
are win. have been forced by the inevitable laws of modern 
education into toil utterly repugnant to their natures, and that 
in the extreme, until the whole strength of the young soul 
was sapped a\v;iy: and then pronounce with fearfulness how 
far, and in how many senses, it may indeed be true that the 
wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. 

xxx. 2sow all this possibility of evil, observe, attaches to 
knowledge pursued for the noblest ends, if it be pursued im- 
prudently. I Lave assumed, in speaking of its effect both on 
men generally and on the artist especially, that it was sought 
in the true love of it, and with all honesty and directness of 
purpose. But this is granting far too much in its favor. 
Of knowledge in general, and without qualification, it is said 
by the Apostle that "it puifeth up;" and the father of all 
modern science, writing directly in its praise, yet asserts this 
danger even in more absolute terms, calling it a " venomous- 
ness" in the very nature of knowledge itself. 

xxxi. There is, indeed, much difference in this respect 
between the tendencies of different branches of knowledge ; it 
being a sure rule that exactly in proportion as they are inferior, 
nugatory, or limited in scope, their power of feeding pride is 
iri-eater. Thus philology, logic, rhetoric, and the other sciences 
of the schools, being for the most part ridiculous an<J trifling, 
have so pestilent an effect upon those who are devoted to them, 
that their students cannot conceive of any higher sciences than 
these, but fancy that all education ends in the knowledge of 
words : but the true and great sciences, more especially natural 
history, make men gentle and modest in proportion to the 

jvness of their apprehension, arid just perception of the in- 
tin iteness of the things they can never know. And this, it 
eemi to me, is the principal lesson we are intended to be 
tan-lit l, v the book of Job ; for there God has thrown open to 
M- heart of a man most just and holy, and apparently per- 
in all things jn^sibk- to human nature except humility. 


For this he is tried : and we are shown that no suffering, no 
self-examination, however honest, however stern, no searching 
out of the heart by its own bitterness, is enough to convince 
man of his nothingness before God ; but that the sight of God's 
creation will do it. For, when the Deity himself has willed 
to end the temptation, and to accomplish in Job that for 
which it was sent, He does not vouchsafe to reason with him, 
still less does He overwhelm him with terror, or confound him 
by laying open before his eyes the book of his iniquities. He 
opens before him only the arch of the dayspring, and the foun- 
tains of the deep ; and amidst the covert of the reeds, and on 
the heaving waves, He bids him watch the kings of the children 
of pride, " Behold now Behemoth, which I made with thee :" 
And the work is done. 

xxxii. Thus, if, I repeat, there is any one lesson in the 
whole book which stands forth more definitely than another, it 
is this of the holy and humbling influence of natural science 
on the human heart. And yet, even here, it is not the science, 
but the perception, to which the good is owing; and the 
natural sciences may become as harmful as any others, when 
they lose themselves in classification and catalogue-making. 
Still, the principal danger is with the sciences of words and 
methods ; and it was exactly into those sciences that the whole 
energy of men during the Renaissance period was thrown. 
They discovered suddenly that the world for ten centuries had 
been living in an ungrammatical manner, and they made it 
forthwith the end of human existence to be grammatical. And 
it mattered thenceforth nothing what was said, or what was 
done, so only that it was said with scholarship, and done with 
system. Falsehood in a Ciceronian dialect had no opposers ; 
truth in patois no listeners. A Roman phrase was thought 
worth any number of Gothic facts. The sciences ceased at once 
to be anything more than different kinds of grammars, grain- 
mar of language, grammar of logic, grammar of ethics, grammar 
of art ; and the tongue, wit, and invention of the human race 
were supposed to have found their utmost and most divine 
mission in syntax and syllogism, perspective and five orders. 


Of such knowledge as this, nothing but pride could come; 
md therefore, I have called the first mental characteristic of 
'the 'Renaissance schools, the " pride" of science. If they had 
reached any science worth the name, they might have loved it ; 
tat of the paltry knowledge they possessed, they could only be 
proud. There was not anything in it capable of being loved. 
Anatomy, indeed, then first made a subject of accurate study, 
i> a true science, but not so attractive as to enlist the affections 
wrongly on its side: and therefore, like its meaner sisters, it 
became merely a ground for pride; and the one main purpose 
of the Renaissance artists, in all their work, was to show how 
much they knew. 

\iii. There were, of course, noble exceptions; but 
chk'tly la-longing to the earliest periods of the Renaissance, 
when its teaching had not yet produced its full effect. Raphael, 
Leonardo, and ^Michael Angelo were all trained in the old 
M-hool ; they all had masters who knew the true ends of art, 
ami had reached them ; masters nearly as great as they were 
them>elves, but imbued with the old religious and earnest 
>pirit, which their disciples receiving from them, and drinking 
at the same time deeply from all the fountains of knowledge 
opened in their day, became the world's wonders. Then the 
dull wondering world believed that their greatness rose out of 
their new knowledge, instead of out of that ancient religious 
root, in which to abide was life, from which to be severed was 
annihilation. And from that day to this, they have tried to 
produce Michael Angelos and Leonardos by teaching the barren 
noes, and still have mourned and marvelled that no more 
Michael Anirelos came ; not perceiving that those great Fathers 
were only able to receive such nourishment because they were 
r.M.trd on the rock of all ages, and that our scientific teaching, 
nowui lays, is nothing more nor less than the assiduous water- 
ing of trees whose stems are cut through. Nay, I have even 
granted too much in saying that those great men were able to 
eive pure nourishment from the sciences; for my own con- 
\iction i-.. ;,),,! I i<n n \v it to be shared by most of those who 
love Raphael truly. that he painted best when he knew least. 


Michael Angelo was betrayed, again and again, into such vain 
and offensive exhibition of his anatomical knowledge as, to this 
day, renders his higher powers indiscernible by the greater 
part of men ; and Leonardo fretted his life away in engineer- 
ing, so that there is hardly a picture left to bear his name. 
But, with respect to all who followed, there can be no question 
that the science they possessed was utterly harmful ; serving 
merely to draw away their hearts at once from the purposes of 
art and the power of nature, and to make, out of the canvas 
and marble, nothing more than materials for the exhibition of 
petty dexterity and useless knowledge. 

xxxiv. It is sometimes amusing to watch the naive and 
childish way in which this vanity is shown. For instance,, 
when perspective was first invented, the world thought it a 
mighty discovery, and the greatest men it had in it were as 
proud of knowing that retiring lines converge, as if all the 
wisdom of Solomon had been compressed into a vanishing 
point. And, accordingly, it became nearly impossible for any 
one to paint a Nativity, but he must turn the stable and man- 
ger into a Corinthian arcade, in order to show his knowledge 
of perspective ; and half the best architecture of the time, in- 
stead of being adorned with historical sculpture, as of old, was 
set forth with bas-relief of minor corridors and galleries, thrown 
into perspective. 

Now that perspective can be taught to any schoolboy in a 
week, we can smile at this vanity. But the fact is, that all 
pride in knowledge is precisely as ridiculous, whatever its kind,, 
or whatever its degree. There is, indeed, nothing of which 
man has any right to be proud ; but the very last thing of 
which, with any show of reason, he can make his boast is his 
knowledge, except only that infinitely small portion of it which 
he has discovered for himself. For what is there to be more 
proud of in receiving a piece of knowledge from another per- 
son, than in receiving a piece of money ? Beggars should not 
be proud, whatever kind of alms they receive. Knowledge is 
like current coin. A man may have some right to be proud 
of possessing it, if he has worked for the gold of it, and assayed 


it, and stamped it, so that it maybe received of all men as 
true; <>r earned it fairly, being already assayed : but if lie has 
done none of these things, but only had it thrown in his face 
1 >y a passer-by, what cause has he to be proud ? And though, 
in this mendicant fashion, he had heaped together the wealth 
of Cro3sus, would pride any more, for this, become him, as, in 
some sort, it becomes the man who has labored for his fortune, 
however small ? So, if a man tells me the sun is larger than 
the earth, have I any cause for pride in knowing it ? or, if any 
multitude of men tell me any number of things, heaping all 
their wealth of knowledge upon me, have I any reason to be 
proud under the heap ? And is not nearly all the knowledge 
of which we boast in these days cast upon us in this dishonor- 
able way ; worked for by other men, proved by them, and then 
forced upon us, even against our wills, and beaten into us in 
our youth, before we have the wit even to know if it be good 
or not? (Mark the distinction between knowledge and 
thought.) Truly a noble possession to be proud of! Be 
assured, there is no part of the furniture of a man's mind 
which he has a right to exult in, but that which he has hewn 
and fashioned for himself. He who has built himself a hut on 
a desert heath, and carved his bed, and table, and chair out of 
the nearest f orest, may have some right to take pride in the appli- 
ances of his narrow chamber, as assuredly he will have joy in 
them. But the man who has had a palace built, and adorned, 
and furnished for him, may, indeed, have many advantages 
above the other, but he has no reason to be proud of his up- 
holsterer's skill ; and it is ten to one if he has half the joy in 
his couches of ivory that the other will have in his pallet of 

; x \ xv. And observe how we feel this, in the kind of re- 
epeet we pay to such knowledge as we are indeed capable of 
estimating the value of. When it is our own, and new to us, 
we cannot judge of it ; but let it be another's also, and long 
familiar to us, and see what value we set on it. Consider how 
we regard a schoolboy, fresh from his term's labor. If he be- 
irin t.i display his newly acquired small knowledge to us, and 


plume himself thereupon, how soon do we silence him with 
contempt ! But it is not so if the schoolboy begins to feel or 
see anything. In the strivings of his soul within him he is 
our equal ; in his power of sight and thought he stands sepa- 
rate from us, and may be a greater than we. We are ready to 
hear him forthwith. " You saw that ? you felt that ? No 
matter for your being a child ; let us hear." 

xxxvi. Consider that every generation of men stands in 
this relation to its successors. It is as the schoolboy: the 
knowledge of which it is proudest will be as the alphabet to 
those who follow. It had better make no noise about its knowl- 
edge ; a time will come when its utmost, in that kind, will be 
food for scorn. Poor fools ! was that all they knew ? and be- 
hold how proud they were ! But what we see and feel will 
never be mocked at. All men will be thankful to us for tell- 
ing them that. " Indeed !" they will say, " they felt that in 
their day? saw that? Would God we may be like them, 
before we go to the home where sight and thought are 
not !" 

This unhappy and childish pride in knowledge, then, was 
the first constituent element of the Renaissance mind, and it 
was enough, of itself, to have cast it into swift decline : but it 
was aided by another form of pride, which was above called 
the Pride of State ; and which we have next to examine. 

xxxvn. II. PRIDE or STATE. It was noticed in the 
second volume of " Modern Painters," p. 117, that the princi- 
ple which had most power in retarding the modern school of 
portraiture was its constant expression of individual vanity and 
pride. And the reader cannot fail to have observed that one 
of the readiest and commonest ways in which the painter min- 
isters to this vanity, is by introducing the pedestal or shaft of 
a column, or some fragment, however simple, of Renaissance 
architecture, in the background of the portrait. And this is 
not merely because such architecture is bolder or grander than, 
in general, that of the apartments of a private house. No 
other architecture would produce the same effect in the same 
degree. The richest Gothic, the most massive Norman, would 


not produce the same sense of exaltation as the simple and 

ni's <f the Renaissance. 

\\MII. And if we think over this matter a little, we 
>hall MM, 11 feel that in those meagre lines there is indeed an ex- 
pression of aristocracy in its worst characters; coldness, per- 
iertne>s of training, incapability of emotion, want of sympathy 
with the weakness of lower men, blank, hopeless, haughty self- 
MitHciency. All these characters are written in the Renaissance 
architecture as plainly as if they were graven on it in words. 
For. observe, all other architectures have something in them 
that common men can enjoy; some concession to the simplici- 
ties of humanity, some daily bread for the hunger of the 
multitude. Quaint fancy, rich ornament, bright color, some- 
thing that shows a sympathy with men of ordinary minds and 
hearts; and this wrought out, at least in the Gothic, with a 
rudeness showing that the workman did not mind exposing his 
own ignorance if he could please others. But the Renaissance 
i> exactly the contrary of all this. It is rigid, cold, inhuman; 
incapable of glowing, of stooping, of conceding for an instant. 
Whatever excellence it has is refined, high-trained, and deeply 
erudite; a kind which the architect well knows no common 
mind can taste. He proclaims it to us aloud. "You cannot 
feel my wnrk unless you study Vitruvius. I will give you no 
olor. no pleasant sculpture, nothing to make you happy ; 
tor I ;un a learned man. All the pleasure you can have in 
anything I do is in its proud breeding, its rigid formalism, its 
perfect finish, its cold tranquillity. I do not work for the 
vulgar, only for the men of the academy and the court." 

\\.\ix. And the instinct of the world felt this in a 
moment. In the new precision and accurate law of the clas- 
>i<-al iorms. they perceived something peculiarly adapted to 
the M-tting forth of state in an appalling manner: Princes de- 
lighted in it. and courtiers. The Gothic was good for God's 
unship. |,ur this was good for man's worship. The Gothic 
h;il fellowship with all hearis. and was universal, like nature: 
it could frame a temple for the prayer of nations, or shrink 
"to the poor man's winding stair. lint here was an architec- 


ture that would not shrink, that had in it no submission, no 
mercy. The proud princes and lords rejoiced in it. It was 
full of insult to the poor in its every line. It would not be 
built of the materials at the poor man's hand ; it would not roof 
itself with thatch or shingle, and black oak beams ; it would 
not wall itself with rough stone or brick ; it would not pierce 
itself with small windows where they were needed ; it would 
not niche itself, wherever there was room for it, in the street 
corners. It would be of hewn stone ; it would have its win- 
dows and its doors, and its stairs and its pillars, in lordly order, 
and of stately size ; it would have its wings and its corridors, 
and its halls and its gardens, as if all the earth were its own. 
And the rugged cottages of the mountaineers, and the fantastic 
streets of the laboring burgher were to be thrust out of its 
way, as of a lower species. 

XL. It is to be noted also, that it ministered as much to 
luxury as to pride. Not to luxury of the eye, that is a holy 
luxury ; Nature ministers to that in her painted meadows, and 
sculptured forests, and gilded heavens ; the Gothic builder 
ministered to that in his twisted traceries, and deep-wrought 
foliage, and burning casements. The dead Renaissance drew 
back into its earthliness, out of all that was warm and heavenly ; 
back into its pride, out of all that was simple and kind ; back 
into its stateliness, out of all that was impulsive, reverent, and 
gay. But it understood the luxury of the body ; the terraced 
and scented and grottoed garden, with its trickling fountains 
and slumbrous shades ; the spacious hall and lengthened corri- 
dor for the summer heat ; the well-closed windows, and per- 
fect fittings and furniture, for defence against the cold ; and 
the soft picture, and frescoed wall and roof, covered with the 
last lasciviousness of Paganism ; this is understood and pos- 
sessed to the full, and still possesses. This is the kind of 
domestic architecture on which we pride ourselves, even to 
this day, as an infinite and honorable advance from the rough 
habits of our ancestors ; from the time when the king's floor 
was strewn with rushes, and the tapestries swayed before the 
searching wind in the baron's hall. 


XLI. Let us hear two stories of those rougher times. 

At the debate of Kin- K<l\vin with his courtiers and priests, 
whether lie ought to receive the Gospel preached to him by 
I'aiilinus, one of his nobles spoke as follows: 

The present life, O king ! weighed with the time that is 
unknown, seems to me like this. When you are sitting at a 
feast with your earls and thanes in winter time, and the lire is 
lighted, and the hall is warmed, and it rains and snows, and 
the storm is loud without, there comes a sparrow, and flies 
through the house. It comes in at one door and goes out at 
the other. While it is within, it is not touched by the winter's 
storm ; but it is but for the twinkling of an eye, for from 
winter it comes and to winter it returns. So also this life of 
man endureth for a little space; what goes before or what 
follows after, we know not. Wherefore, if this new lore bring 
anything more certain, it is fit that we should follow it." * 

That could not have happened in a Renaissance building. 
The bird could not have dashed in from the cold into the heat, 
and from the heat back again into the storm. It would have 
had to come up a flight of marble stairs, and through seven 
or eight antechambers ; and so, if it had ever made its way 
into the presence chamber, out again through loggias and cor- 
ridors innumerable. And the truth which the bird brought 
with it, fresh from heaven, has, in like manner, to make its 
way to the Renaissance mind through many antechambers, 
hardly, and as a despised thing, if at all. 

XLH. Hear another story of those early times. 

The king of Jerusalem, Godfrey of Bouillon, at the siege 
of Asshur, or Arsur, gave audience to some emirs from Sama- 
ria and Naplous. They found him seated on the ground on a 
>ack of straw. They expressing surprise, Godfrey answered 
them : " May not the earth, out of which we came, and which 
is to be our dwelling after death, serve us for a seat during 

It is long since such a throne has been set in the reception- 

* Cimrton's "Early English Church." London, 1840. 


chambers of Christendom, or such an answer heard from the 
lips of a king. 

Thus the Renaissance spirit became base both in its absti- 
nence and its indulgence. Base in its abstinence ; curtailing 
the bright and playful wealth of form and thought, which 
tilled the architecture of the earlier ages with sources of 
delight for their hardy spirit, pure, simple, and yet rich as the 
fretwork of flowers and moss, watered by some strong and 
stainless mountain stream : and base in its indulgence ; as it 
granted to the body what it withdrew from the heart, and 
exhausted, in smoothing the pavement for the painless feet, 
and softening the pillow for the sluggish brain, the powers of 
art which once had hewn rough ladders into the clouds of 
heaven, and set up the stones by which they rested for houses 
of God. 

XLIII. And just in proportion as this courtly sensuality 
lowered the real nobleness of the men whom birth or fortune 
raised above their fellows, rose their estimate of their own 
dignity, together with the insolence and unkindness of its 
expression, and the grossness of the flattery with which it 
was fed. Pride is indeed the first and the last among the sins 
of men, and there is no age of the world in which it has not 
been unveiled in the power and prosperity of the wicked. 
But there was never in any form of slavery, or of feudal suprem- 
acy, a forgetfulness so total of the common majesty of the 
human soul, and of the brotherly kindness due from man to 
man, as in the aristocratic follies in the Renaissance. I have 
not space to follow out this most interesting and extensive 
subject ; but here is a single and very curious example of the 
kind of flattery with which architectural teaching was mingled 
when addressed to the men of rank of the day. 

XLIV. In St. Mark's library there is a very curious Latin 
manuscript of the twenty-five books of Averulinus, a Florentine 
architect, upon the principles of his art. The book was written 
in or about 1460, and translated into Latin, and richly illumi- 
nated for Corvinus, king of Hungary, about 1483. I extract 
from the third book the following passage on the nature of 


stones. " As there are three genera of men, that is to say, 
nobles, mm of the middle classes, and rustics, so it appears 
that there are of stones. For the marbles and common stones 
of which we have spoken above, set forth the rustics. The 
porphyries and alabasters, and the other harder stones of 
mingled quality, represent the middle classes, if we are to deal 
in comparison!: and by means of these the ancients adorned 
their temples with incrustations and ornaments in a magnifi- 
cent manner. And after these come the chalcedonies and 
sardonyxes, &c., which are so transparent that there can be 
seen no spot in them.* Thus men endowed with nobility lead 
a life in which no spot can be found." 

Canute or Coeur de Lion (I name not Godfrey or St. Louis) 
would have dashed their sceptres against the lips of a man 
who should have dared to utter to them flattery such as this. 
15 lit in the fifteenth century it was rendered and accepted as 
a matter of course, and the tempers which delighted in it 
necessarily took pleasure also in every vulgar or false means, 
of taking worldly superiority. And among such false means 
largeness of scale in the dwelling-house was of course one of 
the easiest and most direct. All persons, however senseless 
or dull, could appreciate size : it required some exertion of 
intelligence to enter into the spirit of the quaint carving of the 
Gothic times, but none to perceive that one heap of stones 
was higher than another, t And therefore, while in the exe- 
cution and manner of work the Renaissance builders zealously 
vindicated for themselves the attribute of cold and superior 
learning, they appealed for such approbation as they needed 
from the multitude, to the lowest possible standard of taste ; 

* "Quibus nulla macula inest quse non cernatur. Ita viri nobilitate 
pnedili cam vitam pi-ragunt cui nulla notapossit inviri." The first sentence 
is literally, " in which there is no spot that may not be seen." But I imag- 
ine the v.'ritcr meant it as I have put it in the text, else his comparison 
does not hold. 

* observe, however, that the inairnitude spoken of here and in the fol- 
lowing passages, is the finished and polished magnitude sought for the sake 
of pomp : not the rough magnitude sought for the sake of sublimity : 

ing which see the " Seven Lamps," chap. iii. 5, 6, and 8. 


and while the older workman lavished his labor on the minute 
niche and narrow casement, on the doorways no higher than 
the head, and the contracted angles of the turreted chamber, 
the Renaissance builder spared such cost and toil in his detail, 
that he might spend it in bringing larger stones from a 
distance ; and restricted himself to rustication and five orders, 
that he might load the ground with colossal piers, and raise an 
ambitious barrenness of architecture, as inanimate as it was 
gigantic, above the feasts and follies of the powerful or the 
rich. The Titanic insanity extended itself also into ecclesias- 
tical design : the principal church in Italy was built with little 
idea of any other admirableness than that which was to result 
from its being huge ; and the religious impressions of those 
who enter it are to this day supposed to be dependent, in a 
great degree, on their discovering that they cannot span the 
thumbs of the statues which sustain the vessels for holy 

XLV. It is easy to understand how an architecture which 
thus appealed not less to the lowest instincts of dulness than 
to the subtlest pride of learning, rapidly found acceptance 
with a large body of mankind ; and how the spacious pomp 
of the new manner of design came to be eagerly adopted by 
the luxurious aristocracies, not only of Yenice, but of the 
other countries of Christendom, now gradually gathering 
themselves into that insolent and festering isolation, against 
which the cry of the poor sounded hourly in more ominous 
unison, bursting at last into thunder (mark where, first 
among the planted walks and plashing fountains of the palace 
wherein the Renaissance luxury attained its utmost height in 
Europe, Versailles) ; that cry, mingling so much piteousness 
with its wrath and indignation, " Our soul is filled with the 
scornful reproof of the wealthy, and with the despitefulness 
of the proud." 

XL vi. But of all the evidence bearing upon this subject 
presented by the various arts of the fifteenth century, none is 
so interesting or so conclusive as that deduced from its tombs. 
For, exactly in proportion as the pride of life became more 


inx.lent, the fear of death became more servile ; and the dif- 
fcrencc in the manner in which the men of early and later 
dav> adorned the sepulchre, confesses a still greater difference 
in their manner of regarding death. To those he came as the 
comforter and the friend, rest in his right hand, hope in his left; 
to these as the humiliator, the spoiler, and the avenger. And, 
therefore, we find the early tombs at once simple and lovely 
in adornment, severe and solemn in their expression ; confess- 
ing the power, and accepting the peace, of death, openly and 
joyfully ; and in all their symbols marking that the hope of 
resurrection lay only in Christ's righteousness ; signed always 
with this simple utterance of the dead, " I will lay me down 
in peace, and take my rest; for it isthou, Lord, only that 
niakest me dwell in safety." But the tombs of the later ages 
are a ghastly struggle of mean pride and miserable terror : 
the one mustering the statues of the Virtues about the tomb, 
disguising the sarcophagus with delicate sculpture, polishing 
the false periods of the elaborate epitaph, and filling with 
strained animation the features of the portrait statue ; and 
the other summoning underneath, out of the niche or from 
behind the curtain, the frowning skull, or scythed skeleton, or 
some other more terrible image of the enemy in whose defi- 
ance the whiteness of the sepulchre had been set to shine 
above the whiteness of the ashes. 

XLVII. This change in the feeling with which sepulchral 
monuments were designed, from the eleventh to the eigh- 
teenth centuries, has been common to the whole of Europe. 
1 5ut, as Venice is in other respects the centre of the Renais- 
sance system, so also she exhibits this change, in the manner 
of the sepulchral monument under circumstances peculiarly 
calculated to teach us its true character. For the severe 
guard which, in earlier times, she put upon every tendency to 
personal pomp and ambition, renders the tombs of her ancient 
monarchs as remarkable for modesty and simplicity as for 
their religious feeling ; so that, in this respect, they are sepa- 
rated by a considerable interval from the more costly monu- 
ments erected at the sum- periods to the kings or nobles of 


other European states. In later times, on the other hand, as 
the piety of the Venetians diminished, their pride overleaped 
all limits, and the tombs which in recent epochs, were erected 
for men who had lived only to impoverish or disgrace the 
state, were as much more magnificent than those contempora- 
neously erected for the nobles of Europe, as the monuments 
for the great Doges had been humbler. When, in addition to 
this, we reflect that the art of sculpture, considered as 
expressive of emotion, was at a low ebb in Venice in the 
twelfth century, and that in the seventeenth she took the lead 
in Italy in luxurious work, we shall at once see the chain of 
examples through which the change of feeling is expressed, 
must present more remarkable extremes here than it can in 
any other city ; extremes so startling that their impressive- 
ness cannot be diminished, while their intelligibility is greatly 
increased, by the large number of intermediate types which 
have fortunately been preserved. 

It would, however, too much weary the general reader if, 
without illustrations, I were to endeavor to lead him step by 
step through the aisles of St. John and Paul ; and I shall 
therefore confine myself to a slight notice of those features in 
sepulchral architecture generally which are especially illustra- 
tive of the matter at present in hand, and point out the order 
in which, if possible, the traveller should visit the tombs in 
Venice, so as to be most deeply impressed with the true char- 
acter of the lessons they convey. 

XL vin. I have not such an acquaintance with the modes 
of entombment or memorial in the earliest ages of Christianity 
as would justify me in making any general statement respect- 
ing them : but it seems to me that the perfect type of a Chris- 
tian tomb was not developed until toward the thirteenth cen- 
tury, sooner or later according to the civilization of each 
country ; that perfect type consisting in the raised and per- 
fectly visible sarcophagus of stone, bearing upon it a recum- 
bent figure, aud the whole covered by a canopy. Before that 
type was entirely developed, and in the more ordinary tombs 
contemporary with it, we find the simple sarcophagus, often 


with only a rough block of stone for its lid, sometimes with a 
l,,w-al>led W. like a cottage roof, derived from Egyptian 
form* and bearing, either on the sides or the lid, at least a 
sculpture <>!' the orO88, and sometimes the name of the 
4ecea>ed. and date of erection of the tomb. In more elabo- 
rate examples rich figure-sculpture is gradually introduced; 
and in the perfect period the sarcophagus, even when it does 
not bear an v recumbent figure, has generally a rich sculpture 
on its >ide> representing an angel, presenting the dead, in per- 
BOD and dress as he lived, lo Christ or to the Madonna, with 
lateral figures, sometimes of saints, sometimes asin the tombs 
of the Dukes of Burgundy at Dijon of mourners ; but in 
Venice almost always representing the Annunciation, the 
an-el bring placed at one angle of the sarcophagus, and the 
Madonna at the other. The canopy, in a very simple four- 
si juare form, or as an arch over a recess, is added above the 
.sircophairus, long before 'the life-size recumbent figure appears 
resting upon it. By the time that the sculptors had acquired 
skill enough to irive much expression to this figure, the canopy 
attains an t>\<juisite symmetry and richness; and, in the most 
elaborate examples, is surmounted by a statue, generally small, 
representing the dead person in the full strength and pride 
of life, whik; the recumbent figure shows him as he lay in 
death. And, at this point, the perfect type of the Gothic 
tomb is reached. 

XLIX. Of the simple sarcophagus tomb there are many 
exquisite examples both at Venice and Verona; the most 
interesting in Venice are those which are set in the recesses 
of the rude brick front of the Church of St. John and Paul, 
ornamented only, for the most part, with two crosses set in 
circles, and the legend with the name of the dead, and an 
," Orate pro anima" in another circle in the centre. And in 
.this we may note one great proof of superiority j'n Italian 

Kn^lish tnml ; the latter being often enriched with 
<l u:i< mall .-hafts, and arches, and other ordinary archi- 

"ations, which destroy their seriousness, and solem- 
nity, render them little more than ornamental, and 


no religious meaning whatever; while the Italian sarcophagi 
are kept massive, srnoth, and gloomy, -heavy-lidded dun- 
geons of stone, like rock-tombs, but bearing on their surface, 
sculptured with tender and narrow lines, the emblem of the 
cross, not presumptuously nor proudly, but dimly graven 
upon their granite, like the hope which the human heart holds, 
but hardly perceives in its heaviness. 

L. Among the tombs in front of the Church of St. John 
and Paul there is one which is peculiarly illustrative of the 
simplicity of these earlier ages. It is on the left of the 
entrance, a massy sarcophagus with low horns as of an altar, 
placed in a rude recess of the outside wall, shattered and worn, 
and here and there entangled among wild grass and weeds. 
Yet it is the tomb of two Doges, Jacopo and Lorenzo Tiepolo, 
by one of whom nearly the whole ground was given for the 
erection of the noble church in front of which his unprotected 
tomb is wasting away. The sarcophagus bears an inscription 
in the centre, describing the acts of the Doges, of which the 
letters show that it was added a considerable period after the 
erection of the tomb : the original legend is still left in other 
letters on its base, to this effect, 

"Lord James, died 1251. Lord Laurence, died 1288." 

At the two corners of the sarcophagus are two angels bearing 
censers ; and on its lid two birds, with crosses like crests upon 
their heads. For the sake of the traveller in Yenice the 
reader will, I think, pardon me the momentary irrelevancy of 
telling the meaning of these symbols. 

LI. The foundation of the church of St. John and Paul 
was laid by the Dominicans about 1234, under the immediate 
protection of the Senate and the Doge Giacomo Tiepolo, 
accorded to them in consequence of a miraculous vision 
appearing to the Doge ; of w r hich the following account is 
given in popular tradition : 

" In the year 1226, the Doge Giacomo Tiepolo dreamed a 
dream ; and in his dream he saw the little oratory of the 
Dominicans, and, behold, the ground all around it (now occu- 


[)ifd by the church) was covered with roses of the color of 
\rrmilion, and the air was filled with their fragrance. And in 
the midst of the roses, there were seen flying to and fro a 
crowd of white doves, with golden crosses upon their heads. 
And while the Doge looked, and wondered, behold, two angels 
descended from heaven with golden censers, and passing through 
the oratory, and forth among the flowers, they filled the 
I dace with the smoke of their incense. Then the Doge heard 
suddenly a clear and loud voice which proclaimed, ' This is the 
place that I have chosen for my preachers ;' and having heard 
it, straightway he awoke and went to the Senate, and 
declared to them the vision. Then the Senate decreed that 
forty paces of ground should be given to enlarge the monas- 
tery ; and the Doge Tiepolo himself made a still larger grant 

There is nothing miraculous in the occurrence of such a 
dream as this to the devout Doge ; and the fact, of which 
there is no doubt, that the greater part of the land on which 
the church stands was given by him, is partly a confirmation 
of the story. But, whether the sculptures on the tomb were 
records of the vision, or the vision a monkish invention from 
the sculptures on the tomb, the reader will not, I believe, look 
upon its doves and crosses, or rudely carved angels, any more 
with dixlain ; knowing how, in one way or another, they were 
connected with a point of deep religious belief. 

5? MI. Towards the beginning of the fourteenth century, 
in Venice, the recumbent figure begins to appear on the sar- 
cophagus, the first dated example being also one of the most 
beautiful ; the statue of the prophet Simeon, sculptured upon 
the tomb which was to receive his relics in the church dedi- 
<Mtcl t.) him under the name of SanSimeone Grande. So soon 
as the figure appears, the sarcophagus becomes much more 
richly sculptured, but always with definite religious purpose. 
It is usually divided into two panels, which are filled with 
small bas-reliefs of the acts or martyrdom of the patron saints 
of the deceased : between them, in the centre, Christ, or the 
Virgin and Child, are richly enthroned, under a curtained 


canopy ; and the two figures representing the Annunciation 
are almost always at the angles ; the promise of the Birth of 
Christ being taken as at once the ground and the type of the 
promise of eternal life to all men. 

LIII. These figures are always in Venice most rudely 
chiselled ; the progress of figure sculpture being there com- 
paratively tardy. At Verona, where the great Pisan school 
had strong influence, the monumental sculpture is immeasura- 
bly finer ; and, so early as about the year 1335,* the consum- 
mate form of the Gothic tomb occurs in the monument of Can 
Grande della Scala at Yerona. It is set over the portal of the 
chapel anciently belonging to the family. The sarcophagus is 
sculptured with shallow bas-reliefs, representing (which is rare 
in the tombs with which I am acquainted in Italy, unless they 
are those of saints) the principal achievements of the warrior's 
life, especially the siege of Yicenza and battle of Placenza ; 
these sculptures, however, form little more than a chased and 
roughened groundwork for the fully relieved statues repre- 
senting the Annunciation, projecting boldly from the front of 
the sarcophagus. Above, the Lord of Yerona is laid in his 
long robe of civil dignity, wearing the simple bonnet, con- 
sisting merely of a fillet bound round the brow, knotted and 
falling on the shoulder. He is laid as asleep ; his arms crossed 
upon his body, and his sword by his side. Above him, a bold 
arched canopy is sustained by two projecting shafts, and on 
the pinnacle of its roof is the statue of the knight on his war- 
horse ; his helmet, dragon-winged and crested with the dog's 
head, tossed back behind his shoulders, and the broad and 
blazoned drapery floating back from his horse's breast, so 
truly drawn by the old workman from the life, that it seems 
to wave in the wind, and the knight's spear to shake, and his 
marble horse to be evermore quickening its pace, and starting 
into heavier and hastier charge, as the silver clouds float past 
behind it in the sky. 

* Can Grande died in 1329: we can hardly allow more than five years for 
the erection of his tomb. 


N,,w observe, in this tomb, as much concession is 
to the pride of man as may ever consist with honor, 
ui.M-retion. ,,r di-nity. I <\<> not enter into any question 
respecting the character of Can Grande, though there can be 
little doubt that ho was one of the best among the nobles of 
hi> time: but that is not to our purpose. It is not the ques- 
tion whether his wars were just, or his greatness honorably 
achieved ; hut whether, supposing them to have been so, these 
f-icts are well and gracefully told upon his tomb. And I 
believe there can be no hesitation in the admission of its per- 
fect feeling and truth. Though beautiful, the tomb is so little 
conspicuous or intrusive, that it serves only to decorate the 
portal of the little chapel, and is hardly regarded by the 
traveller as he enters. When it is examined, the history of 
the acts of the dead is found subdued into dim and minute 
ornament upon his coffin; and the principal aim of the monu- 
ment is to direct the thoughts to his image as he lies in death, 
and to the expression of his hope of resurrection ; while, seen 
as by the memory far away, diminished in the brightness of 
the sky. there is set the likeness of his armed youth, stately, 
as it stood of old, in the front of battle, and meet to be thus 
recorded for us, that we may now be able to remember the 
(liirnuy of the frame, of which those who once looked upon it 
hardly remembered that it was dust. 

. Tli is. I repeat, is as much as may ever be granted,, 
but this ought always to be granted, to the honor and the affec- 
tion of men. The tomb which stands beside that of Can 
draiule. nearest it in the little field of sleep, already shows the 
trains <.f en-iiii: ambition. It is the tomb of Mastino the 

nd, in whose reign began the decline of his family. It is 
altogether exquisite as u work of art; and the evidence of a 

wise or noble feeling in its design is found only in this, 
that the imaire of a virtue, Fortitude, as belonging to the dead, 
is placed on the extremity of the sarcophagus, opposite to the 
Crucilixion. Hut for this slight circumstance, of which the 
s i.iri i ilicance will only be appreciated as we examine the series 
of later monuments, tin- composition of this monument of Can 


Mastino would have been as perfect as its decoration is refined. 
It consists, like that of Can Grande, of the raised sarcophagus, 
bearing the recumbent statue, protected by a noble four-square 
canopy, sculptured with ancient Scripture history. On one 
side of the sarcophagus is Christ enthroned, with Can Mastino 
kneeling before Him ; on the other, Christ is represented in 
the mystical form, half-rising from the tomb, meant, I believe, 
to be at once typical of His passion and resurrection. The 
lateral panels are occupied by statues of saints. At one ex- 
tremity of the sarcophagus is the Crucifixion ; at the other, a 
noble statue of Fortitude, with a lion's skin thrown over her 
shoulders, its head forming a shield upon her breast, her flow- 
ing hair bound with a narrow fillet, and a three-edged sword 
in her gauntleted right hand, drawn back sternly behind her 
thigh, while, in her left, she bears high the shield of the Scalas. 

LVI. Close to this monument is another, the stateliest and 
most sumptuous of the three ; it first arrests the eye of the 
stranger, and long detains it, a many-pinnacled pile surrounded 
by niches with statues of the warrior saints. 

It is beautiful, for it still belongs to the noble time, the 
latter part of the fourteenth century ; but its work is coarser 
than that of the other, and its pride may well prepare us to- 
learn that it was built for himself, in his own lifetime, by the 
man whose statue crowns it, Can Signorio della Scala. Now 
observe, for this is infinitely significant. Can Mastino II. was 
feeble and wicked, and began the ruin of his house ; his sarcoph- 
agus is the first which bears upon it the image of a virtue,, 
but he lays claim only to Fortitude. Can Signorio was twice 
a fratricide, the last time when he lay upon his death-bed : hi* 
tomb bears upon its gables the images of six virtues, Faith, 
Hope, Charity, Prudence, and (I believe) Justice and Forti- 

LVII. Let us now return to Venice, where, in the second 
chapel counting from right to left, at the west end of the 
Church of the Frari, there is a very early fourteenth, or per- 
haps late thirteenth, century tomb, another exquisite example 
of the perfect Gothic form. It is a knight's ; but there is no 


inscription upon it, and his name is unknown. It consists of a 
sarcophagus, supported on bold brackets against the chapel 
wall, bearing the recumbent figure, protected by a simple can- 
opy in the form of a pointed arch, pinnacled by the knight's 
crest ; beneath which the shadowy space is painted dark blue, 
and strewn with stars. The statue itself is rudely carved ; but 
its lines, as seen from the intended distance, are both tender 
and masterly. The knight is laid in his mail, only the hands 
and face being bare. The hauberk and helmet are of chain- 
mail, the armor for the limbs of jointed steel; a tunic, fitting 
close to the breast, and marking the noble swell of it by two 
narrow embroidered lines, is worn over the mail ; his dagger is 
at his right side ; his long cross-belted sword, not seen by the 
spectator from below, at his left. His feet rest on a hound 
(the hound being his crest), which looks up towards its master. 
In general, in tombs of this kind, the face of the statue is 
slightly turned towards the spectator ; in this monument, on 
the contrary, it is turned away from him, towards the depth of 
the arch : for there, just above the warrior's breast, is carved a 
small image of St. Joseph bearing the infant Christ, who looks 
down upon the resting figure ; and to this image its counte- 
nance is turned. The appearance of the entire tomb is as if 
the warrior had seen the vision of Christ in his dying moments 1 
and had fallen back peacefully uppon his pillow, with his eyes 
still turned to it, and his hands clasped in prayer. 

LVIII. On the opposite side of this chapel is another very 
lovely tomb, to Duccio degli Alberti, a Florentine ambassador 
at Venice ; noticeable chiefly as being the first in Venice on 
which any images of the Virtues appear. We shall return to it 
presently, but some account must first be given of the more 
important among the other tombs in Venice belonging to the 
perfect period. Of these, by far the most interesting, though 
not the most elaborate, is that of the great Doge Francesco 
Dandolo, whose ashes, it might have been thought, were honor- 
able enough to have been permitted to rest undisturbed in the 
chapteivlxraBe of the Fnm, where they were first laid. But, 
as if there were not room enough, nor waste houses enough in 


the desolate city to receive a few convent papers, the monks, 
wanting an "archivio," have separated the tomb into three 
pieces : the canopy, a simple arch sustained on brackets, still 
remains on the blank walls of the desecrated chamber; the 
sarcophagus has been transported to a kind of museum of an- 
tiquities, established in what was once the cloister of Santa 
Maria della Salute ; and the painting which filled the lunette 
behind it is hung far out of sight, at one end of the sacristy of 
the same church. The sarcophagus is completely charged with 
bas-reliefs : at its two extremities are the types of St. Mark 
and St. John ; in front, a noble sculpture of the death of 
the Yirgin ; at the angles, angels holding vases. The whole 
space is occupied by the sculpture ; there are no spiral shafts 
or panelled divisions ; only a basic plinth below, and crown- 
ing plinth above, the sculpture being raised from a deep con- 
cave field between the two, but, in order to give piquancy and 
picturesqneness to the mass of figures, two small trees are in- 
troduced at the head and foot of the Madonna's couch, an oak 
and a stone pine. 

LIX. It was said above,* in speaking of the frequent dis- 
putes of the Venetians with the Pontifical power, which in 
their early days they had so strenuously supported, that " the 
humiliation of Francesco Dandolo blotted out the shame of 
Barbarossa." It is indeed well that the two events should be 
remembered together. By the help of the Venetians, Alexan- 
der III. was enabled, in the twelfth century, to put his foot 
upon the neck of the emperor Barbarossa, quoting the words 
of the Psalm, " Thou shalt tread upon the lion and the adder." 
A hundred and fifty years later, the Venetian ambassador, 
Francesco Dandolo, unable to obtain even an audience from 
the Pope, Clement V., to whom he had been sent to pray for 
a removal of the sentence of excommunication pronounced 
against the republic, concealed himself (according to the com- 
mon tradition) beneath the Pontiff's dining-table ; and thence 
coming out as he sat down to meat, embraced his feet, and ob- 

* Vol. I. Chap. I. 



ii. PRIDE OF si ATI:. 

tained, by tearful entreaties, the removal of the terrible sen- 

I > : iv, "according to the common tradition ;" for there are 
some doubts cast upon the story by its supplement. Most of 
the Venetian historians assert that Francesco Dandolo's sur- 
name of " Dog" was given him first on this occasion, in insult, 
l.v the cardinals; and that the Venetians, in remembrance of 
the irracu which his humiliation had won for them, made it a 
title of honor to him and to his race. It has, however, been 
proved* that the surname was borne by the ancestors of 
Francesco Dandolo long before; and the falsity of this seal 
of the legend renders also its circumstances doubtful. But the 
main fact of grievous humiliation having been undergone,, 
admits of no dispute; the existence of such a tradition at all 
is in itself a proof of its truth ; it was not one likely to be 
either invented or received without foundation: and it will be 
well, therefore, that the reader should remember, in connection 
with the treatment of Barbarossa at the door of the Church 
of St. Mark's, that in the Vatican, one hundred and fifty 
years later, a Venetian noble, a future Doge, submitted to a. 
degradation, of which the current report among his people 
was, that he had crept on his hands and knees from beneath 
the Pontiff's table to his feet, and had been spurned as a " dog" 
by the cardinals present. 

. There are \\\-<> principal conclusions to be drawn from 
this: the obvious one respecting the insolence of the Papal 
dominion in the thirteenth century ; the second, that there 
were probably most deep piety and humility in the character 
of the man who could submit to this insolence for the sake of 
a benefit to his country. Probably no motive would have 
beni strong enough to obtain such a sacrifice from most men, 
however unseltiJi : but it was, without doubt, made easier to- 
I >andolo by his profound reverence for the Pontifical office ; a 
reverence which, however we may now esteem those who- 
claimed it, could not but have been felt by nearly all good and 

* Sansovino, lib. xiil 


faithful men at the time of which we are speaking. This is 
the main point which I wish the reader to remember as we 
look at his tomb, this, and the result of it, that, some years 
afterwards, when he was seated on the throne which his piety 
had saved, " there were sixty princes' ambassadors in Venice 
at the same time, requesting the judgment of the Senate on 
matters of various concernment, so great was the fame of the 
uncorrupted justice of the Fathers" * 

Observe, there are no virtues on this tomb. Nothing but 
.religious history or symbols ; the Death of the Virgin in front, 
and the types of St. Mark and St. John at the extremities.- < 

LXI. Of the tomb of the Doge Andrea Dandolo,.in St. 
Mark's, I have spoken before. It is one of the first in Venice 
which presents, in a canopy, the Pisan idea of angels with- 
drawing curtains, as of a couch, to look down upon tlie dead. 
The sarcophagus is richly decorated with flower- work ; the 
usual figures of the Annunciation are at the sides ; an en- 
throned Madonna in the centre ; and two bas-reliefs, one of 
the martyrdom of the Doge's patron saint, St. Andrew, occupy 
the intermediate spaces. All these tombs have been richly 
colored ; the hair of the angels has here been gilded, their 
wings bedropped with silver, and their garments covered with 
the most exquisite arabesques. This tomb, and that of St. 
Isidore in another chapel of St. Mark's, which was begun by 
this very Doge, Andrea Dandolo, and completed after his 
death in 1354, are both nearly alike in their treatment, and 
are, on the whole, the best existing examples of Venetian 
monumental sculpture. 

LXII. Of much ruder workmanship, though still most pre- 
cious,' and singularly interesting from its quaintnessj is a sar- 
cophagus in the northernmost chapel, beside the choir .of St. 
John and Paul, charged with two bas-reliefs and many/figures, 
but -.which .bears no inscription. It has, however, a shield with 
three dolphins on its brackets ; and as at the feet of the Madonna 
in tit$ centre there is a small kneeling figure of a Doge, we know 

. i\i . 
* Tentori, vi. 142, i. 157. ' 



it to be the tomb of tbe Doge Giovanni Dolfino, who came to 
the throne in 1356. 

He was chosen Doge while, as provveditore, he was in Tre- 
viso, defending the city against the King of Hungary. The 
Venetians sent to the besiegers, praying that their newly 
elected Doge might be permitted to pass the Hungarian lines. 
Their request was refused, the Hungarians exulting that they 
held the Doge of Venice prisoner in Treviso. But Dolfino, 
with a body of two hundred horse, cut his way through their 
lines by night, and reached Mestre (Malghera) in safety, where 
he was met by the Senate. His bravery could not avert the 
misfortunes which were accumulating on the republic. The 
Hungarian war was ignorniniously terminated by the surrender 
of Dalmatia : the Doge's heart was broken, his eyesight 
failed him, and he died of the plague four years after he had 
ascended the throne. 

LXIII. It is perhaps on this account, perhaps in conse- 
quence of later injuries, that the tomb has neither effigy nor 
inscription : that it has been subjected to some violence is 
evident from the dentil which once crowned its leaf -cornice 
I it- ing now broken away, showing the whole front. But, 
fortunately, the sculpture of the sarcophagus itself is little 

There are two saints, male and female, at its angles, each 
in a little niche; a Christ, enthroned in the centre, the Doge 
:uil Dogaressa kneeling at his feet; in the two intermediate 
naiiels, on one side the Epiphany, on the other the Death of 
the Virgin ; the whole supported, as well as crowned, by an 
elaborate leaf-plinth. The figures under the niches are rudely 
cut, and of little interest. "Not so the central group. Instead 
of a niche, the Christ is seated under a square tent, or taber- 
nacle, formed by curtains running on rods ; the idea, of 
course, as usual, borrowed from the Pisan one, but here in- 
p-niously applied. The curtains are opened in front, showing 
those at the back of the tent, behind the seated figure ; the 
perspective of the two retiring sides being very tolerably sug- 


gested. Two angels, of half the size of the seated figure, 
thrust back the near curtains, and look up reverently to the 
Christ ; while again, at their feet, about one third of their 
size, and half -sheltered, as it seems, by their garments, are the 
two kneeling figures of the Doge and Dogaressa, though so 
small and carefully cut, full of life. The Christ raising one 
hand as to bless, and holding a book upright and open on the 
knees, does not look either towards them or to the angels, but 
forward ; and there is a very noticeable effort to represent 
Divine abstraction in the countenance : the idea of the three 
magnitudes of spiritual being, the God, the Angel, and the 
Man, is also to be observed, aided as it is by the complete 
subjection of the angelic power to the Divine; for the angels 
are in attitudes of the most lowly watchfulness of the face of 
Christ, and appear unconscious of the presence of the human 
beings who are nestled in the folds of their garments. 

LXIV. With this interesting but modest tomb of one of 
the kings of Venice, it is desirable to compare that of one of 
her senators, of exactly the same date, which is raised against 
the western wall of the Frari, at the end of the north aisle. It 
bears the following remarkable inscription : 


The " Amador de Justitia" has perhaps some reference to 
Simon Dandolo's having been one of the Giunta who con- 
demned the Doge Faliero. The sarcophagus is decorated 
merely by the Annunciation group, and an enthroned Madonna 
with a curtain behind her throne, sustained by four tiny angels, 
who look over it as they hold it up ; but the workmanship of 
the figures is more than usually beautiful 

LXV. Seven years later, a very noble monument was placed 
on the north side of the choir of St. John and Paul, to the 
Doge Marco Cornaro, chiefly, with respect to our present sub- 
ject, noticeable for the absence of religious imagery from the 


sarcophagus, which is decorated with roses only ; three very 
beaut it nl Btatuefi of the Madonna and two saints are, however, 
set in tin- canopy , above. Opposite this tomb, though about 
fifteen \vars later in date, is the richest monument of the 
(iothic period in Venice; that of the Doge Michele Morosini, 
who died in 1382. It consists of a highly florid canopy, an 
arch m>wnrd l.y a --able, with pinnacles at the flanks, boldly 
cmcketed, and with a huge finial at the top representing St. 
Michael, a medallion of Christ set in the gable ; under the 
arch, a mosaic, representing the Madonna presenting the Doge 
to Christ upon the cross ; beneath, as usual, the sarcophagus, 
with a most noble recumbent figure of the Doge, his face 
meagre and severe, and sharp in its lines, but exquisite in the 
form of its small and princely features. The sarcophagus is 
adorned with elaborate wrinkled leafage, projecting in front 
of it into seven brackets, from which the statues are broken 
away ; but by which, for there can be no doubt that these last 
statues represented the theological and cardinal Virtues, we 
must for a moment pause. 

LXVI. It was noticed above, that the tomb of the Floren- 
tine ambassador, Duccio, was the first in Venice which pre- 
sented images of the Virtues. Its small lateral statues of 
Justice and Temperance are exquisitely beautiful, and were, I 
have no doubt, executed by a Florentine sculptor; the Whole 
range of artistical power and religious feeling being, in Flor- 
ence, full half a century in advance of that of Venice. But 
this is the first truly Venetian tomb which has the Virtues; 
and it becomes of importance, therefore, to know 'what was 
the character of Morosini. 

The reader must recollect, that I dated the commencement 
of the fall of Venice from the death of Carlo Zeno, consider- 
ing that no state could be held as in decline, which numbered 
such a man amongst its citizens. Carlo Zeno was a candidate 
for the Ducal bonnet together with Michael Morosini ; and 
Morosini was chosen. It might be anticipated, therefore, that 
thnv was something more than usually admirable or illustrious 
in his character. Yet it is difficult to arrive at a just estimate 


of it, as the reader will at once understand by comparing the 
following statements : 

LXVII. 1. "To him (Andrea Contarini) succeeded Morosini, at the age 
of seventy-four years ; a most learned and prudent man, who also reformed 
several laws. " Sansovino, Vite de' Principi. 

2. "It was generally believed that, if his reign had been longer, he 
would have dignified the state by many noble laws and institutes ; but by 
so much as his reign was full of hope, by as much was it short in duration, 
for he died when he had been at the head of the republic but four months." 
Sabellico, lib. viii. 

3. "He was allowed but a short time to enjoy this high dignity, which 
he had so well deserved by his rare virtues, for God called him to Himself 
on the 15th of October. "Muratori, Annali de' Italia. 

4. " Two candidates presented themselves ; one was Zeno, the other that 
Michael Morosini who, during the war, had tripled his fortune by his 
speculations. The suffrages of the electors fell upon him, and he was pro- 
claimed Doge on the 10th of June." Daru, Histoire de Venise, lib. x. 

5. "The choice of the electors was directed to Michele Morosini, a noble 
of illustrious birth, derived from a stock which, coeval with the republic 
itself, had produced the conqueror of Tyre, given a queen to Hungary, 
and more than one Doge to Venice. The brilliancy of this descent was 
tarnished in the present chief representative of the family by the most 
base and grovelling avarice ; for at that moment, in the recent war, at 
which all other Venetians were devoting their whole fortunes to the service 
of the state, Morosini sought in the distresses of his country an opening for 
his own private enrichment, and employed his ducats, not in the assistance 
of the national wants, but in speculating upon houses which were brought 
to market at a price far beneath their real value, and which, upon the 
return of peace, insured the purchaser a fourfold profit. ' What matters 
the fall of Venice to me, so as I fall not together with her ? ' was his 
selfish and sordid reply to some one who expressed surprise at the trans- 
action." Sketches of Venetian History. Murray, 1831. 

LXVIII. The writer of the unpretending little history from 
which the last quotation is taken has not given his authority 
for this statement, and I could not find it, but believed, from 
the general accuracy of the book, that some authority might 
exist better than Daru's. Under these circumstances, wishing 
if possible to ascertain the truth, and to clear the character of 
this great Doge from the accusation, if it proved groundless, 
I wrote to the Count Carlo Morosini, his descendant, and one 
of the few remaining representatives of the ancient noblesse 


of Venice ; one, also, by whom his great ancestral name is 
revered, and in whom it is exalted. His answer appears to 
me altogether conclusive as to the utter fallacy of the reports 
of Darn and the English history. I have placed his letter in. 
the close of this volume (Appendix 6), in order that the reader 
may himself be the judge upon this point ; and I should not 
have alluded to Dam's report, except for the purpose of con- 
tradicting it, but that it still appears to me impossible that 
;mv modern historian should have gratuitously invented the 
whole story, and that, therefore, there must have been a trace 
in the documents which Daru himself possessed, of some scan- 
dal of this kind raised by Morosiiii's enemies, perhaps at the 
very time of the disputed election with Carlo Zeno. The 
occurrence of the Virtues upon his tomb, for the first time in 
Venetian monumental work, and so richly and conspicuously 
placed, may partly have been in public contradiction of such 
a floating minor. But the face of the statue is a more explicit 
contradiction still ; it is resolute, thoughtful, serene, and full 
of beauty ; and we must, therefore, for once, allow the some- 
what boastful introduction of the Virtues to have been per- 
fectly just : though the whole tomb is most notable, as fur- 
nishing not only the exact intermediate condition in style 
lii'twirii tin; pure Gothic and its final Renaissance corruption, 
but, at the same time, the exactly intermediate condition of 
feeling between the pure calmness of early Christianity, and 
the boastful pomp of the Renaissance faithlessness ; for here 
uv have still the religious humility remaining in the mosaic 
of the canopy, which shows the Doge kneeling before the 
cross, while yet this tendency to self-trust is shown in the sur- 
rounding of the coffin by the Virtues. 

. i .MX. The next tomb by the side of which they appear is 
that of Jacopo Cavalli, in the same chapel of St. John and Paul 
which contains the tomb of the Doge Delfin. It is peculiarly 
rich in ivligious imagery, adorned by boldly cut types of the 
four evangelists, and of two saints, while, on projecting 
brack<-r> in front of it, stood three statues of Faith, Hope, and 
Charity, now lost, but drawn in Zanotto's work. It is all rich 


in detail, and its sculptor has been proud of it, thus recording 
his name below the epitaph : 


This work of sculpture is done in stone; 
A Venetian did it, named Paul, 
Son of Jachomel the stone-cutter. 

Jacopo Cavalli died in 1384. He was a bold and active 
Veronese soldier, did the state much service, was therefore 
ennobled by it, and became the founder of the house of the 
Cavalli ; but I find no especial reason for the images of the 
Yirtues, especially that of Charity, appearing at his tomb, 
unless it be this : that at the siege of Feltre, in the war against 
Leopold of Austria, he refused to assault the city, because the 
senate would not grant his soldiers the pillage of the town. 
The feet of the recumbent figure, which is in full armor, rest 
on a dog, and its head on two lions ; and these animals (neither 
of which form any part of the knight's bearings) are said by 
Zanotto to be intended to symbolize his bravery and fidelity. 
If, however, the lions are meant to set forth courage, it is a 
pity they should have been represented as howling. 

LXX. We must next pause for an instant beside the tomb 
of Michael Steno, now in the northern aisle of St. John and 
Paul, having been removed there from the destroyed church 
of the Servi : first, to note its remarkable return to the early 
simplicity, the sarcophagus being decorated only with two 
crosses in qnatrefoils, though it is of the fifteenth century, 
Steno dying in 1413 ; and, in the second place, to observe the 
peculiarity of the epitaph, which eulogises Steno as having 
been " amator justitie, pacis, et ubertatis," " a lover of justice, 
peace, and plenty." In the epitaphs of this period, the virtues 
which are made most account of in public men are those which 
were most useful to their country. We have already seen one 
example in the epitaph on Simon Dandolo ; and similar expres- 
sions occur constantly in laudatory mentions of their later 


Doges by the Venetian writers. Thus Sansovino of Marco 
Cornaro, "Era savio Imomo, eloquente, e amava molto la 
pace el' abbondanza dclla citta;" and of Toinaso Mocenigo, 
" Huomo oltre modo desideroso della pace." 

Of the tomb of this last-named Doge mention has before 
1,1-i-n made. Here, as in Morosini's, the images of the Virtues 
have no ironical power, although their great conspicuous- 
ness marks the increase of the boastful feeling in the treat- 
incut of monuments. For the rest, this tomb is the last in 
Venice which can be considered as belonging to the Gothic 
period. Its mouldings are already rudely classical, and it has 
meaningless figures in Roman armor at the angles; but its 
tabernacle above is still Gothic, and the recumbent figure is 
vcn beautiful. It was carved by two Florentine sculptors in 

LXXI. Tomaso Mocenigo was succeeded by the renowned 
Doge, Francesco Foscari, under whom, it will be remembered, 
the last .additions were made to the Gothic Ducal Palace ; 
additions which, in form only, not in spirit, corresponded to 
the older portions ; since, during his reign, the transition took 
place which permits us no longer to consider the Venetian 
architecture as Gothic at all. He died in 1457, and his tomb 
is the first important example of Renaissance art. 

Not, however, a good characteristic example. It is re- 
markable chiefly as introducing all the faults of the Renaissance 
at an early period, when its merits, such as they are, were yet 
undeveloped. Its claim to be rated as a classical composition 
is altogether destroyed by the remnants of Gothic feeling 
which cling to it here and there in their last forms of degra- 
dation ; and of which, now that we find them thus corrupted, 
the sooner we are rid the better. Thus the sarcophagus is 
supported by a species of trefoil arches; the bases of the 
shafts have still their s-purs ; and the whole tomb is covered 
by a pediment, with crockets and a pinnacle. AVe shall find 
that the perfect Renaissance is at least pure in its insipidity, 
and subtle in its vice; but this monument is remarkable as 
showing the refuse of one style encumbering the embryo of 


another, and all principles of life entangled either in the swad- 
dling clothes or the shroud. 

LXXII. With respect to our present purpose, however, it 
is a monument of enormous importance. We have to trace, 
be it remembered, the pride of state in its gradual intrusion 
upon the sepulchre ; and the consequent and correlative van- 
ishing of the expressions of religious feeling and heavenly 
hope, together with the more and more arrogant setting forth 
of the virtues of the dead. Now this tomb is the largest and 
most costly we have yet seen ; but its means of religious 
expression are limited to a single statue of Christ, small and 
used merely as a pinnacle at the top. The rest of the com- 
position is as curious as it is vulgar. The conceit, so often 
noticed as having been borrowed from the Pisan school, of 
angels withdrawing the curtains of the couch to look down 
upon the dead, was brought forward with increasing promi- 
nence by every succeeding sculptor ; but, as we draw nearer 
to the Kenaissance period, we find that the angels become of 
less importance, and the curtains of more. With the Pisans, 
the curtains are introduced as a motive for the angels ; with 
the Eenaissance sculptors, the angels are introduced merely 
as a motive for the curtains, which become every day more 
huge and elaborate. In the monument of Mocenigo, they 
have already expanded into a tent, with a pole in the centre 
of it : and in that of Foscari, for the first time, the angels are 
absent altogether while the curtains are arranged in the form 
of an enormous French tent-bed, and are sustained at the 
flanks by two diminutive figures in Roman armor ; substituted 
for the angels, merely that the sculptor might show his knowl- 
edge of classical costume. And now observe how often a 
fault in feeling induces also a fault in style. In the old tombs, 
the angels used to stand on or by the side of the sarcophagus ; 
but their places are here to be occupied by the Virtues, and 
therefore, to sustain the diminutive Roman figures at the 
necessary height, each has a whole Corinthian pillar to him- 
self, a pillar whose shaft is eleven feet high, and some three 
or four feet round : and because this was not high enough, it 


is put on a pedestal four feet and a half high ; and has a 
spurred base besides of its own, a tall capital, then a huge 
bracket above the capital, and then another pedestal above the 
bracket, and on the top of all the diminutive figure who has 
charge of the curtains. 

LXXIII. Under the canopy, thus arranged, is placed the 
sarcophagus with its recumbent figure. The statues of the 
Virgin and the saints have disappeared from it. In their 
stead, its panels are filled with half-length figures of Faith, 
Hope, and Charity ; while Temperance and Fortitude are at 
the Doge's feet, Justice and Prudence at his head, figures now 
the size of life, yet nevertheless recognizable only by their 
attributes : for, except that Hope raises her eyes, there is no 
difference in the character or expression of any of their faces, 
they are nothing more than handsome Venetian women, in 
rather full and courtly dresses, and tolerably well thrown into 
postures for effect from below. Fortitude could not of course 
be placed in a graceful one without some sacrifice of her char- 
acter, but that was of no consequence in the eyes of the 
sculptors of this period, so she leans back languidly, and 
nearly overthrows her own column ; while Temperance, and 
Justice opposite to her, as neither the left hand of the one 
nor the right hand of the other could be seen from below, 
have been left with one hand each. 

LXXIV. Still these figures, coarse and feelingless as they 
are, have been worked with care, because the principal effect 
of the tomb depends on them. But the effigy of the Doge, 
of which nothing but the side is visible, has been utterly neg- 
lected ; and the ingenuity of the sculptor is not so great, at 
the best, as that he can afford to be slovenly. There is, indeed, 
nothing in the history of Foscari which would lead us to 
oxjH'ct anything particularly noble in his face; but I trust, 
nevertheless, it has been misrepresented by this despicable 
carver ; for no words are strong enough to express the base- 
ness of the portraiture. A huge, gross, bony clown's face, 
with the peculiar sodden and sensual cunning in it which is 

D so often in the countenances of the worst Romanist 


priest ; a face part of iron and part of clay, with the immo- 
bility of the one, and the foulness of the other, double chinned, 
blunt-mouthed, bony-cheeked, with its brows drawn down 
into meagre lines and wrinkles over the eyelids ; the face of a 
man incapable either of joy or sorrow, unless such as may be 
caused by the indulgence of passion, or the mortification of 
pride. Even had he been such a one, a noble workman would 
not have written it so legibly on his tomb ; and I believe it to be 
the image of the carver's own mind that is there hewn in the 
marble, not that of the Doge Foscari. For the same mind is 
visible enough throughout, the traces of it mingled with those 
of the evil taste of the whole time and people. There is not 
anything so small but it is shown in some portion of its treat- 
ment ; for instance, in the placing of the shields at the back of 
the great curtain. In earlier times, the shield, as we have 
seen, was represented as merely suspended against the tomb by 
a thong, or if sustained in any other manner, still its form was 
simple and undisguised. Men in those days used their shields 
in war, and therefore there was no need to add dignity to their 
form by external ornament. That which, through day after 
day of mortal danger, had borne back from them the waves 
of battle, could neither be degraded by simplicity, nor exalted 
by decoration. By its rude leathern thong it seemed to be 
fastened to their tombs, and the shield of the mighty was not 
cast away, though capable of defending its master no more. 

LXXV. It was otherwise in the fifteenth and sixteenth cen- 
turies. The changed system of warfare was rapidly doing 
away with the practical service of the shield ; and the chiefs 
who directed the battle from a distance, or who passed the 
greater part of their lives in the council-chamber, soon came 
to regard the shield as nothing more than a field for their 
armorial bearings. It then became a principal object of their 
Pride of State to increase the conspicuousness of these marks 
of family distinction by surrounding them with various and 
fantastic ornament, generally scroll or flower work, which of 
-course deprived the shield of all appearance of being intended 
for a soldier's use. Thus the shield of the Foscari is intro- 


duced in two ways. On the sarcophagus, the bearings am 
three times repeated, enclosed in circular disks, which are 
Mi>tained each by a couple of naked infants. Above the 
canopy, two shields of the usual form are set in the centre of 
circles filled by a radiating ornament of shell flutings, which 
give them the effect of ventilators ; and their circumference is 
farther adorned by gilt rays, undulating to represent a glory. 

LXXVI. We now approach that period of the early Renais- 
sance whu-h was noticed in the preceding chapter as being at 
first a very visible improvement on the corrupted Gothic. The 
tombs executed during the period of the Byzantine Renais- 
smce exhibit, in the first place, a consummate skill in handling 
the chisel, perfect science of drawing and anatomy, high 
appreciation of good classical models, and a grace of composi- 
tion and delicacy of ornament derived, I believe, principally 
from the great Florentine sculptors. But, together with this 
science, they exhibit also, for a short time, some return to the 
early religious feeling, forming a school of sculpture which 
corresponds to that of the school of the Bellini in painting ;, 
and the only wonder is that there should not have been more 
workmen in the fifteenth century doing in marble what Peru- 
gino, Francia, and Bellini did on canvas. There are, indeed, 
some few, as I have just said, in whom the good and pure 
temper shows itself : but the sculptor was necessarily led 
sooner than the painter to an exclusive study of classical 
models, utterly adverse to the Christian imagination; and he- 
\va- also deprived of the great purifying and sacred element 
of color, besides having much more of merely mechanical and 
therefore deirradinu; lubor to go through in the realization of 
his thought Hence I do not know any example in sculpture 
at this j>eriod, at least in Venice, which has not conspicuous 
faults (not faults of imperfection, as in early sculpture, but of 
purpose and sentiment), staining such beauties as it may pos- 
en; and the whole school soon falls away, and merges into- 
vain pomp and meagre metaphor. 

. \\M. The most celel. rated monument of this period is- 
that to the Doge Andrea Vendramin, in the Church of St.. 


John and Paul, sculptured about 1480, and before alluded to 
in the first chapter of the first volume. It has attracted public 
admiration, partly by its costliness, partly by the delicacy and 
precision of its chiselling ; being otherwise a very base and un- 
worthy example of the school, and showing neither invention 
nor feeling. It has the Virtues, as usual, dressed like heathen 
goddesses, and totally devoid of expression, though graceful 
and well studied merely as female figures. The rest of its 
sculpture is all of the same kind ; perfect in workmanship, 
and devoid of thought. Its dragons are covered with marvel- 
lous scales, but have no terror nor sting in them ; its birds are 
perfect in plumage, but have no song in them ; its children 
lovely of limb, but have no childishness in them. 

LXXVIII. Of far other workmanship are the tombs of 
Pietro and Giovanni Mocenigo, in St. John and Paul, and of 
Pietro Bernardo in the Frari ; in all which the details are as 
full of exquisite fancy, as they are perfect in execution ; and 
in the two former, and several others of similar feeling, the 
old religious symbols return ; the Madonna is again seen 
enthroned under the canopy, and the sarcophagus is decorated 
with legends of the saints. But the fatal errors of sentiment 
are, nevertheless, always traceable. In the first place, the 
sculptor is always seen to be intent upon the exhibition of his 
skill, more than on producing any effect on the spectator's 
mind ; elaborate backgrounds of landscape, with tricks of per- 
spective, imitations of trees, clouds, and water, and various 
other unnecessary adjuncts, merely to show how marble could 
be subdued; together with useless under-cutting, and over- 
finish in subordinate parts, continually exhibiting the same 
cold vanity and unexcited precision of mechanism. In the 
second place, the figures have all the peculiar tendency to 
posture-making, which, exhibiting itself first painfully in Peru- 
gino, rapidly destroyed the veracity of composition in all art. 
By posture-making I mean, in general, that action of figures 
which results from the painter's considering, in the first place, 
not how, under the circumstances, they would actually have 
walked, or stood, or looked, but how they may most gracefully 


and harmoniously walk or stand. In the hands of a great man, 
posture, like everything else, becomeo noble, even when over- 
studied, as with Michael Angelo, who was, perhaps, more than 
any other, the cause of the mischief ; but, with inferior men, 
this habit of composing attitudes ends necessarily in utter lifeless- 
ness and abortion. Giotto was, perhaps, of all painters, the most 
free from the infection of the poison, always conceiving an in- 
cident naturally, and drawing it unaffectedly ; and the absence 
of posture-making in the works of the Pre-Eaphaelites, as op- 
posed to the Attitudinarianism of the modern school, has been 
both one of their principal virtues, and of the principal causes 
of outcry against them. 

LXXIX. But the most significant change in the treatment 
of these tombs, with respect to our immediate object, is in the 
form of the sarcophagus. It was above noted, that, exactly in 
proportion to the degree of the pride of life expressed in any 
monument, would be also the fear of death ; and therefore, as 
these tombs increase in splendor, in size, and beauty of work- 
manship, we perceive a gradual desire to take away from* the 
definite character of the sarcophagus. In the earliest times, 
as we have seen, it was a gloomy mass of stone ; gradually it 
became charged with religious sculpture ; but never with the 
slightest desire to disguise its form, until towards the middle 
of the fifteenth century. It then becomes enriched with 
flower-work and hidden by the Virtues ; and, finally, losing its 
four-square form, it is modelled on graceful types of ancient 
vases, made as little like a coffin as possible, and refined away 
in various elegancies, till it becomes, at last, a mere pedestal 
or stage for the portrait statue. This statue, in the meantime, 
has heen gradually coming -back to life, through a curious 
series of transitions. The Yendramin monument is one of the 
last which shows, or pretends to show, the recumbent figure 
laid in death. A few years later, this idea became disagree- 
able to polite minds ; and, lo ! the figures which before had 
been laid at rest upon the tomb pillow, raised themselves on 
their dhows, and l.e-an to look round them. The soul of the 
sixteenth century dared not contemplate its body in death. 


LXXX. The reader cannot but remember many instances 
of this form of monument, England being peculiarly rich in 
examples of them ; although, with her, tomb sculpture, after 
the fourteenth century, is altogether imitative, and in no de- 
gree indicative of the temper of the people. It was from Italy 
that the authority for the change was derived ; and in Italy 
only, therefore, that it is truly correspondent to the change in 
the national mind. There are many monuments in Yenice of 
this semi-animate type, most of them carefully sculptured, and 
some very admirable as portraits, and for the casting of the 
drapery, especially those in the Church of San Salvador ; but 
I shall only direct the reader to one, that of Jacopo Pesaro, 
Bishop of Paphos, in the Church of the Frari ; notable not 
only as a very skilful piece of sculpture, but for the 
epitaph, singularly characteristic of the period, and confirma- 
tory of all that I have alleged against it : 

"James Pesaro, Bishop of Paphos, who conquered the Turks in war, 
himself in peace, transported from a noble family among the Venetians 
to a nobler among the angels, laid here, expects the noblest crown, 
which the just Judge shall give to him in that day. He lived the years 
of Plato. He died 24th March, 1547 * 

The mingled classicism and carnal pride of this epitaph 
surely need no comment. The crown is expected as a right 
from the justice of the judge, and the nobility of the Venetian 
family is only a little lower than that of the angels. The 
quaint childishness of the "Vixit annos Platonicos" is also 
very notable. 

LXXXI. The statue, however, did not long remain in this 
partially recumbent attitude. Even the expression of peace 
became painful to the frivolous and thoughtless Italians, and 
they required the portraiture to be rendered in a manner that 
should induce no memory of death. The statue rose up, and 
presented itself in front of the tomb, like an actor upon a stage, 

* ' ' Jacobus Pisaurius Paphi Episcopus qui Turcos bello, se ipsum pace 
vincebat, ex nobili inter Venetas, ad nobiliorem inter Angelos familiam 
delatus, nobilissimam in ilia die Coronam justo Judice reddeute, hie situs 
expectat Vixit annos Platonicos. Obijt MDXLVII. IX. Kal. Aprilis." 


Mii-rounded now not merely, or not at all, by the Virtues, but by 
allegorical figures of Fame and Victory, by genii and muses, 
by personifications of humbled kingdoms and adoring nations, 
and by every circumstance of pomp, and symbol of adulation, 
that flattery could suggest, or insolence could claim. 

LXXXII. As of the intermediate monumental type, so also 
of this, the last and most gross, there are unfortunately many 
examples in our own country; but the most wonderful, by 
far, are still at Venice. I shall, however, particularize only 
two ; the first, that of the Doge John Pesaro, in the Frari. 
It is to be observed that we have passed over a considerable 
interval of time ; we are now in the latter half of the seven- 
teenth century ; the progress of corruption has in the mean- 
time been incessant, and sculpture has here lost its taste and 
learning as well as its feeling. The monument is a huge accu- 
mulation of theatrical scenery in marble : four colossal negro 
caryatides, grinning and horrible, with faces of black marble 
and white eyes, sustain the first story of it ; above this, two 
monsters, long-necked, half dog and half dragon, sustain an 
ornamental sarcophagus, on the top of which the full-length 
>ratue of the Doge in robes of state stands forward with its 
anus expanded, like an actor courting applause, under a huge 
canopy of metal, like the roof of a bed, painted crimson and 
gold ; on each side of him are sitting figures of genii, and 
unintelligible personifications gesticulating in Eoman armor ; 
below, between the negro caryatides, are two ghastly figures 
in brnn/e, half corpse, half skeleton, carrying tablets on which 
is written the eulogium : but in large letters graven in gold, 
the following worda are the first and last that strike the eye ; 
the first two phrases, one on each side, on tablets in the lower 
story, the last under the portrait statue above : 



We have hew, at last, the horrible images of death in violent 
<-<>trast with the defiant monument, which pretends to bring 


the resurrection down to earth, " Hie revixit ;" and it seems 
impossible for false taste and base feeling to sink lower. Yet 
even this monument is surpassed by one in St. John and Paul. 

LXXXIII. But before we pass to this, the last with which I 
shall burden the reader's attention, let us for a moment, and 
that we may feel the contrast more forcibly, return to a tomb 
of the early times. 

In a dark niche in the outer wall of the outer corridor of 
St. Mark's not even in the church, observe, but in the 
atrium or porch of it, and on the north side of the church, 
is a solid sarcophagus of white marble, raised only about two 
feet from the ground on four stunted square ^pillars. Its lid 
is a mere slab of stone ; on its extremities are sculptured two 
crosses ; in front of it are two rows of rude figures, the upper- 
most representing Christ with the Apostles : the lower row is 
of six figures only, alternately male and female, holding up 
their hands in the usual attitude of benediction ; the sixth is 
smaller than the rest, and the midmost of the other five has a 
glory round its head. I cannot tell the meaning of these 
figures, but between them are suspended censers attached to 
crosses; a most beautiful symbolic expression of Christ's 
mediatorial function. The whole is surrounded by a rude 
wreath of vine leaves, proceeding out of the foot of a cross. 

On the bar of marble which separates the two rows of 
figures are inscribed these words : 

" Here lies the Lord Marin Morosini, Duke." 

It is the tomb of the Doge Marino Morosini, who reigned 
from 1249 to 1252. 

LXXXIV. From before this rude and solemn sepulchre let 
us pass to the southern aisle of the church of St. John and 
Paul ; and there, towering from the pavement to the vaulting 
of the church, behold a mass of marble, sixty or seventy feet 
in height, of mingled yellow and white, the yellow carved into 
the form of an enormous curtain, with ropes, fringes, and 
tassels, sustained by cherubs ; in front of which, in the now 
usual stage attitudes, advance the statues of the Doge Bertuc- 


cio Valier, his son the Doge Silvester Falier, and his son's 
wife, Elizabeth. The statues of the Doges, though mean and 
Polonius-like, are partly redeemed by the Ducal robes ; but 
that of the Dogaressa is a consummation of grossness, vanity, 
and ugliness, the figure of a large and wrinkled woman, with 
elaborate curls in stiff projection round her face, covered from 
her shoulders to her feet with ruffs, furs, lace, jewels, and em- 
broidery. Beneath and around are scattered Virtues, Vic- 
tories, Fames, genii, the entire company of the monumental 
stage assembled, as before a drop scene, executed by various 
sculptors, and deserving attentive study as exhibiting every 
condition of false taste and feeble conception. The Victory in 
the centre is peculiarly interesting ; the lion by which she is 
accompanied, springing on a dragon, has been intended to 
look terrible, but the incapable sculptor could not conceive 
any form of dreadf illness, could not even make the lion look 
angry. It looks only lachrymose; and its lifted forepaws, 
there being no spring nor motion in its body, give it the 
appearance of a dog begging. The inscriptions under the 
two principal statues are as follows : 

"Bertucius Valier, Duke, 

Great in wisdom and eloquence, 

Greater in his Hellespontic victory, 

Greatest in the Prince his son. 

Died in the year 1658." 

" Elisabeth Quirina, 

The wife of Silvester, 

Distinguished by Roman virtue, 

By Venetian piety, 

And by the Ducal crown, 

Died 1708." 

The writers of this age were generally anxious to make the 
world aware that they understood the degrees of comparison, 
and a large number of epitaphs are principally constructed 
ith this object (compare, in the Latin, that of the Bishop of 
Paphos, given above): but the latter of these epitaphs is also 
interesting bom ite mention, in an age now altogether given 


up to the pursuit of worldly honor, of that "Venetian piety" 
which once truly distinguished the city from all others ; and 
of which some form and shadow, remaining still, served to 
point an epitaph, and to feed more cunningly and speciously 
the pride which could not be satiated with the sumptuousness 
of the sepulchre. 

LXXXV. Thus far, then, of the second element of the Re- 
naissance spirit, the Pride of State ; nor need we go farther to 
learn the reason of the fall of Venice. She was already likened 
in her thoughts, and was therefore to be likened in her ruin, 
to the Virgin of Babylon. The Pride of State and the Pride 
of Knowledge were no new passions: the sentence against 
them had gone forth from everlasting. " Thou saidst, I shall 
be a lady for ever ; so that thou didst not lay these things to 
thine heart. . . Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath 
perverted thee / and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and 
none else beside me. Therefore shall evil come upon thee 
. . . ; thy merchants from thy youth, they shall wander 
every one to his quarter ; none shall save thee." * 

LXXXVI. III. PKIDE OF SYSTEM. I might have illustrated 
these evil principles from a thousand other sources, but I have 
not time to pursue the subject farther, and must pass to the 
third element above named, the Pride of System. It need 
not detain us so long as either of the others, for it is at once 
more palpable and less dangerous. The manner in which the 
pride of the fifteenth century corrupted the sources of know- 
ledge, and diminished the majesty, while it multiplied the trap- 
pings, of state, is in general little observed ; but the reader is 
probably already well and sufficiently aware of the curious 
tendency to formulization and system which, under the name 
of philosophy, encumbered the minds of the Renaissance 
schoolmen. As it was above stated, grammar became the 
first of sciences ; and whatever subject had to be treated, the 
first aim of the philosopher was to subject its principles to a 
code of laws, in the observation of which the merit of the 

* Isaiah xlvii. 7, 10, 11, 15. 


speaker, thinker, or worker, in or on that subject, was there- 
after to consist ; so that the whole mind of the world was 
occupied by the exclusive study of Kestraints. The sound of 
the forging of fetters was heard from sea to sea. The doctors 
of all the arts and sciences set themselves daily to the inven- 
tion of new varieties of cages and manacles ; they themselves 
wore, instead of gowns, a chain mail, whose purpose was not 
so much to avert the weapon of the adversary as to restrain 
the motions of the wearer; and all the acts, thoughts, and 
workings of mankind, poetry, painting, architecture, and 
philosophy, were reduced by them merely to so many different 
forms of fetter-dance. 

LXXXVII. Now, I am very sure that no reader who has 
given any attention to the former portions of this work, or the 
tendency of what else I have written, more especially the last 
chapter of the " Seven Lamps," will suppose me to underrate 
the importance, or dispute the authority, of law. It has been 
necessary for me to allege these again and again, nor can they 
ever be too often or too energetically alleged, against the vast 
masses of men who now disturb or retard the advance of civili- 
zation ; heady and high-minded, despisers of discipline, and re- 
fiiMTsof correction. But law, so far as it can be reduced to 
form and system, and is not written upon the heart, as it is, 
in a Divine loyalty, upon the hearts of the great hierarchies 
who serve and wait about the throne of the Eternal Lawgiver, 
this lower and formally expressible law has, I say, two ob- 
jects. It is either for the definition and restraint of sin, or 
the guidance of simplicity ; it either explains, forbids, and 
punches wickedness, or it guides the movements and actions 
both of lifeless things and of the more simple and untaught 
.inn ing responsible agents. And so long, therefore, as sin and 
foolishness are in the world, so long it will be necessary for 
men to submit themselves painfully to this lower- law, in pro- 
portion to their need of being corrected, and to the degree of 
Hiildishness or simplicity by which they approach more nearly 
to the condition of the unthinking and inanimate things which 
are governed by law altogether; yet yielding, in the manner 


of their submission to it, a singular lesson to the pride of man, 
being obedient more perfectly in proportion to their great- 
ness.* But, so far as men become good and wise, and rise 
above the state of children, so far they become emancipated 
from this written law, and invested with the perfect freedom 
which consists in the fulness and joyfulness of compliance 
with a higher and unwritten law ; a law so universal, so subtle, 
so glorious, that nothing but the heart can keep it. 

LXXXVIII. Now pride opposes itself to the observance of 
this Divine law in two opposite ways : either by brute resist- 
ance, which is the way of the rabble and its leaders, denying 
or defying law altogether ; or by formal compliance, which is 
the way of the Pharisee, exalting himself while he pretends to 
obedience, and making void the infinite and spiritual com- 
mandment by the finite and lettered commandment. And it 
is easy to know which law we are obeying : for any law which 
we magnify and keep through pride, is always the law of the 
letter ; but that which we love and keep through humility, is 
the law of the Spirit : And the letter killeth, but the Spirit 
giveth life. 

LXXXIX. In the appliance of this universal principle to 
what we have at present in hand, it is to be noted, that all 
written or writable law respecting the arts is for the childish 
and ignorant : that in the beginning of teaching, it is possible 
to say that this or that must or must not be done ; and laws of 
color and shade may be taught, as laws of harmony are to the 
young scholar in music. But the moment a man begins to be 
anything deserving the name of an artist, all this teachable law 
has become a matter of course with him ; and if, thenceforth, 
he boast himself anywise in the law, or pretend that he lives 
and works by it, it is a sure sign that he is merely tithing 
cummin, and that there is no true art nor religion in him. For 
the true artist has that inspiration in him which is above all 
law, or rather, which is continually working out such magnifi- 
cent and perfect obedience to supreme law, as can in no wise 

* Compare "Seven Lamps," chap. vii. 3. 


be rendered by line and rule. There are more laws perceived 
and fulfilled in the single stroke of a great workman, than 
could be written in a volume. His science is inexpressibly 
subtle, directly taught him by his Maker, not in any wise com- 
municable or linkable.* Neither can any written or definitely 
observable laws enable us to do any great thing. It is possible, 
by measuring and administering quantities of color, to paint a 
room wall so that it shall not hurt the eye ; but there are no laws 
by observing which we can become Titians. It is possible so to 
measure and administer syllables, as to construct harmonious 
verse ; but there are no laws by which we can write Iliads. 
Out of the poem or the picture, once produced, men may elicit 
laws by the volume, and study them with advantage, to the 
better understanding of the existing poem or picture ; but no- 
more write or paint another, than by discovering laws of vege- 
tation they can make a tree to grow. And therefore, where- 
soever we find the system and formality of rules much dwelt 
upon, and spoken of as anything else than a help for children, 
there we may be sure that noble art is not even understood, far 
less reached. And thus it was with all the common and public 
mind in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The greater 
men, indeed, broke through the thorn hedges; and, though 
much time was lost by the learned among them in writing 
Latin verses and anagrams, and arranging the framework of 
quaint sonnets and dexterous syllogisms, still they tore their 
way through the sapless thicket by force of intellect or of 
piety ; for it was not possible that, either in literature or in 
painting, rules could be received by any strong mind, so as 
materially to interfere with its originality : and the crabbed 
discipline and exact scholarship became an advantage to the 
men who could pass through and despise them ; so that in 
spite of the rules of the drama we had Shakspeare, and in spite 
of the rules of art we had Tintoret, both of them, to this day, 
doing perpetual violence to the vulgar scholarship and dim- 
eyed proprieties of the multitude. 

xc. But in architecture it was not so ; for that was the 

* See the farther n-niark-i mi Inspiration, in the fourth chapter. 


art of the multitude, and was affected by all their errors ; and 
the great men who entered its field, like Michael Angelo, found 
expression for all the best part of their minds in sculpture, and 
made the architecture merely its shell. So the simpletons and 
sophists had their way with it : and the reader can have no 
conception of the inanities and puerilities of the writers, who, 
with the help of Yitruvius, re-established its "five orders," 
determined the proportions of each, and gave the various re- 
cipes for sublimity and beauty, which have been thenceforward 
followed to this day, but which may, I believe, in this age of 
perfect machinery, be followed out still farther. If, indeed, 
there are only five perfect forms of columns and architraves, 
and there be a fixed proportion to each, it is certainly possible, 
with a little ingenuity, so to regulate a stonecutting machine, 
as that it shall furnish pillars and friezes to the size ordered, 
of any of the five orders, on the most . perfect Greek models, 
in any quantity ; an epitome, also, of Yitruvius, may be made 
so simple, as to enable any bricklayer to set them up at their 
proper distances, and we may dispense with our architects 

xci. But if this be not so, and there be any truth in the 
faint persuasion which still lurks in men's minds that architec- 
ture is an art, and that it requires some gleam of intellect to 
practise it, then let the whole system of the orders and their 
proportions be cast out and trampled down as the most vain, 
barbarous, and paltry deception that was ever stamped on 
human prejudice ; and let us understand this plain truth, com- 
mon to all work of man, that, if it be good work, it is not a 
copy, nor anything done by rule, but a freshly and divinely 
imagined thing. Five orders ! There is not a side chapel in 
any Gothic cathedral but it has fifty orders, the worst of them 
better than the best of the Greek ones, and all new ; and a 
single inventive human soul could create a thousand orders in 
an hour.* And this would have been discovered even in the 

* That is to say, orders separated by such distinctions as the old Greek 
ones : considered with reference to the bearing power of the capital, all 
orders may be referred to two, as long ago stated ; just as trees may be re- 
ferred to the two great classes, monocotylcdor.ous and dicotyledonous. 


worst times, but that, as I said, the greatest men of the age 
found expression for their invention in the other arts, and the 
best of those who devoted themselves to architecture were in 
great part occupied in adapting the construction of buildings 
to new necessities, such as those developed by the invention 
of gunpowder (introducing a totally new and most interesting 
science of fortification, which directed the ingenuity of San- 
micheli and many others from its proper channel), and found 
interest of a meaner kind in the difficulties of reconciling the 
obsolete architectural laws they had consented to revive, and 
the forms of Eoman architecture which they agreed to copy, 
with the requirements of the daily life of the sixteenth 

xcn. These, then, were the three principal directions in 
which the Renaissance pride manifested itself, and its impulses 
were rendered still more fatal by the entrance of another ele- 
ment, inevitably associated with pride. For, as it is written, 
" He that tmsteth in his own heart is a fool," so also it is 
written, " The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God ;" 
and the self-adulation which influenced not less the learning of 
the age than its luxury, led gradually to the forgetfulness of all 
tilings but self, and to an infidelity only the more fatal because 
it still retained the form and language of faith. 

xcni. IV. INFIDELITY. In noticing the more prominent 
forms in which this faithlessness manifested itself, it is necessary 
to distinguish justly between that which was the consequence 
of respect for Paganism, and that which followed from the 
corruption of Catholicism. For as the Roman architecture is 
not to be made answerable for the primal corruption of the 
Gothic, so neither is the Roman philosophy to be made 
answerable for the primal corruption of Christianity. Year 
after year, as the history of the life of Christ sank back into 
the depths of time, and became obscured by the misty atmos- 
phere of the history of the world, as intermediate actions 
and incidents multiplied in number, and countless changes in 
men's modes of life, and tones of throught, rendered it more 
difficult for them to imagine the facts of distant time, it be- 


came daily, almost hourly, a greater effort for the faithful 
heart to apprehend the entire veracity and vitality of the story 
of its Redeemer; and more easy for the thoughtless and 
remiss to deceive themselves as to the true character of the 
belief they had been taught to profess. And this must have 
been the case, had the pastors of the Church never failed in 
their watchfulness, and the Church itself never erred in its 
practice or doctrine. But when every year that removed the 
truths of the Gospel into deeper distance, added to them also 
some false or foolish tradition; when wilful distortion was 
added to natural obscurity, and the dimness of memory was 
disguised by the fruitf illness of fiction ; when, moreover, the 
enormous temporal power granted to the clergy attracted into 
their ranks multitudes of men who, but for such temptation, 
would not have pretended to the Christian name, so that 
grievous wolves entered in among them, not sparing the flock ; 
and when, by the machinations of such men, and the remiss- 
ness of others, the form and administrations' of Church doctrine 
and discipline had become little more than a means of aggran- 
dizing the power of the priesthood, it was impossible any 
longer for men of thoughtf illness or piety to remain in an 
unquestioning serenity of faith. The Church had become so 
mingled with the world that its witness could no longer be re- 
ceived ; and the professing members of it, who were placed in 
circumstances such as to enable them to become aware of its 
corruptions, and whom their interest or their simplicity did not 
bribe or beguile into silence, gradually separated themselves 
into two vast multitudes of adverse energy, one tending to 
Reformation, and the other to Infidelity. 

xciv. Of these, the last stood, as it were, apart, to watch 
the course of the struggle between Romanism and Protestant- 
ism ; a struggle which, however necessary, was attended with 
infinite calamity to the Church. For, in the first place, the 
Protestant movement was, in reality, not reformation but re- 
animation. It poured new life into the Church, but it did not 
form or define her anew. In some sort it rather broke down 
her hedges, so that all they who passed by might pluck off her 


grapes. The reformers speedily found that the enemy wus 
never far behind the sower of good seed ; that an evil spirit 
mi-lit enter the ranks of reformation as well as those of resist- 
ance ; and that though the deadly blight might be checked 
amidst the wheat, there was no hope of ever ridding the wheat 
itst-lf from the tares. New temptations were invented by 
Satan wherewith to oppose the revived strength of Christi- 
anity : as the Romanist, confiding in his human teachers, had 
ceased to try whether they were teachers sent from God, so the 
Protestant, confiding in the teaching of the Spirit, believed 
every spirit, and did not try the spirits whether they were of 
God. And a thousand enthusiasms and heresies speedily 
obscured the faith and divided the force of the Reformation. 
xcv. But the main evils rose out of the antagonism of the 
two great parties ; primarily, in the mere fact of the existence 
of an antagonism. To the eyes of the unbeliever the Church 
of Christ, for the first time since its foundation, bore the as- 
pect of a house divided against itself. Not that many forms 
of schism had not before arisen in it ; but either they had been 
obscure and silent, hidden among the shadows of the Alps 
and the marshes of the Rhine ; or they had been outbreaks of 
visible and unmistakable error, cast off by the Church, root- 
less, and speedily withering away, while, with much that was 
erring and criminal, she still retained within her the and 
ground of the truth. But here was at last a schism in which 
truth and authority were at issue. The body that was cast off 
withered away no longer. It stretched out its boughs to the 
sea and its branches to the river, and it was the ancient trunk 
that gave signs of decrepitude. On one side stood the 
reanimated faith, in its right hand the book open, and its left 
hand lifted up to heaven, appealing for its proof to the Word 
of the Testimony and the power of the Holy Ghost. On the 
other stood, or seemed to stand, all beloved custom and be- 
lieved tradition ; all that for fifteen hundred years had been 
closest to the hearts of men, or most precious for their holp. 
Tx>ng-trusted legend ; long-reverenced power ; long-practised 
discipline; faiths that had ruled the destiny, and seakd the 


departure, of souls that could not be told or numbered for 
multitude ; prayers, that from the lips of the fathers to those 
of the children had distilled like sweet waterfalls, sounding 
through the silence of ages, breaking themselves into heavenly 
dew to return upon the pastures of the wilderness ; hopes, that 
had set the face as a flint in the torture, and the sword as a 
flame in the battle, that, had pointed the purposes and minis- 
tered the strength of life, brightened the last glances and 
shaped the last syllables of death ; charities, that had bound 
together the brotherhoods of the mountain and the desert, and 
had woven chains of pitying or aspiring communion between 
this world and the unfathomable beneath and above ; and, 
more than these, the spirits of all the innumerable, undoubting, 
dead, beckoning to the one way by which they had been con- 
tent to follow the things that belonged unto their peace; 
these all stood on the other side : and the choice must have 
been a bitter one, even at the best ; but it was rendered ten- 
fold more bitter by the natural, but most sinful animosity of 
the two divisions of the Church against each other. 

xcvi. On one side this animosity was, of course, inevita- 
ble. The Romanist party, though still including many Chris- 
tian men, necessarily included, also, all the worst of those who 
called themselves Christians. In the fact of its refusing cor- 
rection, it stood confessed as the Church of the unholy ; and, 
while it still counted among its adherents many of the simple 
and believing, men unacquainted with the corruption of the 
body to which they belonged, or incapable of accepting any 
form of doctrine but that which they had been taught from 
their youth, it gathered together with them whatever was 
carnal and sensual in priesthood or in people, all the lovers of 
pov/er in the one, and of ease in the other. And the rage of 
these men was, of course, unlimited against those who either 
disputed their authority, reprehended their manner of life, or 
cast suspicion upon the popular methods of lulling the con- 
science in the lifetime, or purchasing salvation on the death- 

xcvn. Besides this, the reassert! on and defence of various 


tenets which before had been little more than floating errors 
in the popular mind, but which, definitely attacked by Prot- 
estantism, it became necessary to fasten down with a band 
of iron and brass, gave a form at once more rigid, and less- 
rational, to the whole body of Romanist Divinity. Multitudes- 
of minds which in other ages might have brought honor and 
strength to the Church, preaching the more vital truths which 
it still retained, were now occupied in pleading for arraigned 
falsehoods, or magnifying disused frivolities ; and it can hardly 
be doubted by any candid observer, that the nascent or latent 
errors which God pardoned in times of ignorance, became un- 
pardonable when they were formally defined and defended; 
that fallacies which were forgiven to the enthusiasm of a mul- 
titude, were avenged upon the stubbornness of a Council ; that, 
above all, the great invention of the age, which rendered God's 
word accessible to every man, left all sins against its light in- 
capable of excuse or expiation; and that from the moment 
when Rome set herself in direct opposition to the Bible, the 
judgment was pronounced upon her, which made her the scorn 
and the prey of her own children, and cast her down from the 
throne where she had magnified herself against heaven, so low, 
that at last the unimaginable scene of the Bethlehem humilia- 
tion was mocked in the temples of Christianity. Judea had 
seen her God laid in the manger of the beasts of burden ; it 
was for Christendom to stable the beasts of burden by the altar 
of her God. 

xcvin. Nor, on the other hand, was the opposition of 
Protestantism to the Papacy less injurious to itself. That op- 
position was, for the most part, intemperate, undistinguishing, 
and incautious. It could indeed hardly be otherwise. Fresh 
bleedini: from the sword of Rome, and still trembling at her 
anathema, the reformed churches were little likely to remember 
any of her benefits, or to regard any of her teaching. Forced 
by the Romanist contumely into habits of irreverence, by the 
Ilomaiiist fallacies into habits of disbelief, the self -tru sting, 
i a-!il\ -reasoning spirit irained ground among them daily. Sect 
branched out of sect, presumption rose over presumption; the; 


miracles of the early Church were denied and its martyrs for- 
gotten, though their power and palm were claimed by the 
members of every persecuted sect ; pride, malice, wrath, love 
of change, masked themselves under the thirst for truth, and 
mingled with the just resentment of deception, so that it be- 
came impossible even for the best and truest men to know the 
plague of their own hearts ; while avarice and impiety openly 
transformed reformation into robbery, and reproof into sacrilege. 
Ignorance could as easily lead the foes of the Church, as lull 
her slumber ; men who would once have been the unquestion- 
ing recipients, were now the shameless inventors of absurd or 
perilous superstitions ; they who were of the temper that 
walketh in darkness, gained little by having discovered their 
guides to be blind ; and the simplicity of the faith, ill under- 
stood and contumaciously alleged, became an excuse for the 
rejection of the highest arts and most tried wisdom of man- 
kind : while the learned infidel, standing aloof, drew his own 
conclusions, both from the rancor of the antagonists, and from 
their errors ; believed each in all that he alleged against the 
other ; and smiled with superior humanity, as he watched the 
winds of the Alps drift the ashes of Jerome, and the dust of 
England drink the blood of King Charles. 

xcix. Now all this evil was, of course, entirely indepen- 
dent of the renewal of the study of Pagan writers. But that 
renewal found the faith of Christendom already weakened and 
divided ; and therefore it was itself productive of an effect 
tenfold greater than could have been apprehended from it at 
another time. It acted first, as before noticed, in leading the 
attention of all men to words instead of things ; for it was dis- 
covered that the language of the middle ages had been corrupt, 
and the primal object of every scholar became now to purify 
his style. To this study of words, that of forms being added, 
both as of matters of the first importance, half the intellect of 
the age was at once absorbed in the base sciences of grammar, 
logic, and rhetoric; studies utterly unworthy of the serious 
labor of men, and necessarily rendering those employed upon 
them incapable of high thoughts or noble emotion. Of the 


debasing tendency of philology, no proof is needed beyond once 
reading a grammarian's notes on a great poet: logic is unneces- 
sary for men who can reason ; and about as useful to those who 
cannot, as a machine for forcing one foot in due succession be- 
fore the other would be to a man who could not walk : while 
the study of rhetoric is exclusively one for men who desire to 
deceive or be deceived ; he who has the truth at his heart need 
never fear the want of persuasion on his tongue, or, if he f ear 
it, it is because the base rhetoric of dishonesty keeps the truth 
from being heard. 

c. The study of these sciences, therefore, naturally made 
men shallow and dishonest in general ; but it had a peculiarly 
fatal effect with respect to religion, in the view which men 
took of the Bible. Christ's teaching was discovered not to be 
rhetorical, St. Paul's preaching not to be logical, and the Greek 
of the New Testament not to be grammatical. The stern 
truth, the profound pathos, the impatient period, leaping from 
point to point and leaving the intervals for the hearer to fill, 
the comparatively Hebraized and unelaborate idiom, had little 
in them of attraction for the students of phrase and syllogism ; 
and the chief knowledge of the age became one of the chief 
stumbling-blocks to its religion. 

ci. But it was not the grammarian and logician alone 
who was thus retarded or perverted ; in them there had been 
small loss. The men who could truly appreciate the higher 
excellences of the classics were carried away by a current of 
enthusiasm which withdrew them from every other study. 
Christianity was still professed as a matter of form, but neither 
the Bible nor the writings of the Fathers had time left for their 
perusal, still less heart left for their acceptance. The human 
mind is not capable of more than a certain amount of admira- 
tion or reverence, and that which was given to Horace was 
withdrawn from David. Religion is, of all subjects, that 
which -.vill least endure a second place in the heart or thoughts, 
and a languid and occasional study of it was sure to lead to 
error or infidelity. On the other hand, what was heartily ad- 
mired and unceasingly contemplated was soon brought nigh to 


being believed ; and the systems of Pagan mythology began 
gradually to assume the places in the human mind from which 
the unwatched Christianity was wasting. Men did not indeed 
openly sacrifice to Jupiter, or build silver shrines for Diana, 
but the ideas of Paganism nevertheless became thoroughly 
vital and present with them at all times ; and it did not matter 
in the least, as far as respected the power of true religion, 
whether the Pagan image was believed in or not, so long as it 
entirely occupied the thoughts. The scholar of the sixteenth 
century, if he saw the lightning shining from the east unto 
the west, thought forthwith of Jupiter, not of the coming of 
the Son of Man ; if he saw the moon walking in brightness, 
he thought of Diana, not of the throne which was to be estab- 
lished for ever as a faithful witness in heaven ; and though his 
heart was but secretly enticed, yet thus he denied the God that 
is above.* 

And, indeed, this double creed, of Christianity confessed 
and Paganism beloved, was worse than Paganism itself, inas- 
much as it refused effective and practical belief altogether. It 
would have been better to have worshipped Diana and Jupiter 
at once, than to have gone on through the whole of life naming 
one God, imagining another, and dreading none. Better, a 
thousandfold, to have been " a Pagan suckled in some creed 
outworn," than to have stood by the great sea of Eternity and 
seen no God walking on its waves, no heavenly world on its 

en. This fatal result of an enthusiasm for classical litera- 
ture was hastened and heightened by the misdirection of the 
powers of art. The imagination of the age was actively set to 
realize these objects of Pagan belief ; and all the most exalted 
faculties of man, which, up to that period, had been employed 
in the service of Faith, were now transferred to the service of 
Fiction. The invention which had formerly been both sancti- 
fied and strengthened by laboring under the command of 
settled intention, and on the ground of assured belief, had now 

* Job xxi: 26-28; Psalm Ixxxix. 37. 


tin- reins laid upon its neck by passion, and all ground of fact 
cur from beneath its feet; and the imagination which formerly 
had helped men to apprehend the truth, now tempted them to 
belie vi- a falsehood. The faculties themselves wasted away in 
their own treason; one by one they fell in the potter's field; 
and the Raphael who seemed sent and inspired from heaven 
that he might paint Apostles and Prophets, sank at once into 
powerlessness at the feet of Apollo and the Muses. 

cm. But this was not all. The habit of using the greatest 
gifts of imagination upon fictitious subjects, of course destroyed 
the honor and value of the same imagination used in the cause 
of truth. Exactly in the proportion in which Jupiters and 
Mercuries were embodied and believed, in that proportion 
Virgins and Angels were disembodied and disbelieved. The 
images summoned by art began gradually to assume one average 
value in the spectator's mind ; and incidents from the Iliad and 
fmni the Exodus to come within the same degrees of credi- 
bility. And, farther, while the powers of the imagination 
were becoming daily more and more languid, because unsup- 
ported by faith, the manual skill and science of the artist were 
continually on the increase. When these had reached a certain 
point, they began to be the principal things considered in the 
picture, and its story or scene to be thought of only as a theme 
for their manifestation. Observe the difference. In old times, 
men used their powers of painting to show the objects of faith ; 
in later times, they used the objects of faith that they might 
sho\\- their powers of painting. The distinction is enormous, 
the difference incalculable as irreconcilable. And thus, the 
more skilful the artist, the less his subject was regarded; and 
the hearts of men hardened as their handling softened, until 
they readied a point when sacred, profane, or sensual subjects 
were employed, with absolute indifference, for the display of 
color and execution; and gradually the mind of Europe con- 
cealed into that state of utter apathy, inconceivable, unless it 
had been witnessed, and unpardonable, unless by us, who have 
l><-cn infected by it, which permits us to place the Madonna 
and tli;- Aphrodite side by ;id e in our galleries, and to pass, 



with the same unmoved inquiry into the manner of their hand- 
ling, from a Bacchanal to a Nativity. 

Now all this evil, observe, would have been merely the 
necessary and natural operation of an enthusiasm for the 
classics, and of a delight in the mere science of the artist, on 
the most virtuous mind. But this operation took place upon 
minds enervated by luxury, and which were tempted, at the 
very same period, to forgetfulness or denial of all religious 
principle by their own basest instincts. The faith which had 
been undermined by the genius of Pagans, was overthrown 
by the crimes of Christians ; and the ruin which was begun 
by scholarship, was completed by sensuality. The characters 
of the heathen divinities were as suitable to the manners of 
the time as their forms were agreeable to its taste ; and Pagan- 
ism again became, in effect, the religion of Europe. That 
is to say, the civilized world is at this moment, collectively, 
just as Pagan as it was in the second century ; a small body 
of believers being now, as they were then, representative of 
the Church of Christ in the midst of the faithless : but there 
is just this difference, and this very fatal one, between the 
second and nineteenth centuries, that the Pagans are nomi- 
nally and fashionably Christians, and that there is every con- 
ceivable variety and shade of belief between the two ; so that 
not only is it most difficult theoretically to mark the point 
where hesitating trust and failing practice change into definite 
infidelity, but it has become a point of politeness not to inquire 
too deeply into our neighbor's religious opinions ; and, so 
that no one be offended by violent breach of external forms, 
to waive any close examination into the tenets of faith. The 
fact is, we distrust each other and ourselves so much, that 
we dare not press this matter ; we know that if, on any occa- 
sion of general intercourse, we turn to our next neighbor, 
and put to him some searching or testing question, we shall, 
in nine cases out of ten, discover him to be only a Christian in 
his own way, and as far as he thinks proper, and that he 
doubts of many things which we ourselves do not believe 
.strongly enough to hear doubted without danger. What is 


in reality cowardice and faithlessness, we call charity; and 
consider it the part of benevolence sometimes to forgive men's 
evil practice for the sake of their accurate faith, and sometimes 
to forgive their confessed heresy for the sake of their admira- 
ble practice. And under this shelter of charity, humility, and 
faintheartedness, the world, unquestioned by others or by 
itself, mingles with and overwhelms flie small body of Chris- 
tians, legislates for them, moralizes for them, reasons for 
tin-in ; and, though itself of course greatly and beneficently 
influenced by the association, and held much in check by its 
pretence to Christianity, yet undermines, in nearly the same 
degree, the sincerity and practical power of Christianity itself, 
until at last, in the very institutions of which the administra- 
tion may be considered as the principal test of the genuineness 
of national religion, those devoted to education, the Pagan 
system is completely triumphant ; and the entire body of the 
so-called Christian world has established a system of instruc- 
tion for its youth, wherein neither the history of Christ's 
Church, nor the language of God's law, is considered a study 
of the smallest importance ; wherein, of all subjects of human 
inquiry, his own religion is the one in which a youth's igno- 
rance is most easily forgiven ;* and in which it is held a light 
matter that he should be daily guilty of lying, or debauchery, 
or of blasphemy, so only that he write Latin verses accurately, 
and with speed. 

I believe that in few years more we shall wake from all 
these errors in astonishment, as from evil dreams ; having 
been preserved, in the midst of their madness, by those hidden 
roots of active and earnest Christianity which God's grace 
has bound in the English nation with iron and brass. But in 
the Venetian, those roots themselves had withered ; and, from 

* I shall not forget the impression made upon me at Oxford, when, going 
up for my degree, and mentioning to one of the authorities that I had not 
had time enough to read the Epistles properly, I was told, that "the Epis- 
tles were separate sciences, and I need not trouble myself about them." 

The reader will find some farther notes on this subject in Appendix 7, 


the palace of tlieir ancient religion, their pride cast them forth 
hopelessly to the pasture of the brute. From pride to infidel- 
ity, from infidelity to the unscrupulous and insatiable pursuit 
of pleasure, and from this to irremediable degradation, the 
transitions were swift, like the falling of a star. The great 
palaces of the haughtiest nobles of Venice were stayed, before 
they had risen far above their foundations, by the blast of a 
penal poverty ; and the wild grass, on the unfinished frag- 
ments of their mighty shafts, waves at the tide-mark where 
the power of the godless people first heard the " Hitherto 
shalt thou come." And the regeneration in which they had 
so vainly trusted, the new birth and clear dawning, as they 
thought it, of all art, all knowledge, and all hope, became 
to them as that dawn which Ezekiel saw on the hills of 
Israel : " Behold the day ; behold, it is come. The rod hath 
blossomed, pride hath budded, violence is risen up into a rod 
of wickedness. None of them shall remain, nor of their mul- 
titude ; let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn, for 
wrath is upon all the multitude thereof." 



i. IN the close of the last chapter it was noted that the 
phases of transition in the moral temper of the falling Vene- 
tians, during their fall, were from pride to infidelity, and from 
infidelity to the unscrupulous pursuit of pleasure. During 
the last years of the existence of the state, the minds both of 
the nobility and the people seem to have been set simply upon 
the attainment of the means 'of self-indulgence. There was 
not strength enough in them to be proud, nor forethought 
enough to be ambitious. One by one the possessions of the 
state were abandoned to its enemies ; one by one the channels 
of its trade were forsaken by its own languor, or occupied and 
closed against it by its more energetic rivals ; and the time, 
the resources, and the thoughts of the nation were exclusively 
occupied in the invention of such fantastic and costly pleasures 
as might best amuse their apathy, lull their remorse, or dis- 
guise their ruin. 

ii. The architecture raised at Venice during this period is 
amongst the worst and basest ever built by the hands of men, 
bring especially distinguished by a spirit of brutal mockery 
and insolent jest, which, exhausting itself in deformed and 
monstrous sculpture, can sometimes be hardly otherwise defined 
than as the perpetuation in stone of the ribaldries of drunk- 
enness. On such a period, and on such work, it is painful to 
dwell, and I had not originally intended to do so ; but I found 
that the entire spirit of the Eenaissance could not be compre- 
hended unless it was followed to its consummation ; and that 
there were many most interesting questions arising out of the 
study of this particular spirit of jesting, with reference to 


which I have called it the Grotesque Renaissance. For it is 
not this period alone which is distinguished by such a spirit. 
There is jest perpetual, careless, and not unfrequently obscene 
in the most noble work of the Gothic periods ; and it 
becomes, therefore, of the greatest possible importance to 
examine into the nature and essence of the Grotesque itself, 
and to ascertain in what respect it is that the jesting of art in 
its highest flight, differs from its jesting in its utmost degra- 

in. The place where we may best commence our inquiry 
is one renowned in the history of Venice, the space of ground 
before the Church of Santa Maria Formosa ; a spot which, 
after the Rialto and St. Mark's Place, ought to possess a pecu- 
liar interest in the mind of the traveller, in consequence of its 
connexion with the most touching and true legend of the 
Brides of Yenice. That legend is related at length in every 
Venetian history, and, finally, has been told by the poet 
Rogers, in a way which renders it impossible for any one to 
tell it after him. I have only, therefore, to remind the reader 
that the capture of the brides took place in the cathedral 
church, St. Pietro di Castello ; and that this of Santa Maria 
Formosa is connected with the tale, only because it was yearly 
visited with prayers by the Venetian maidens, on the anniver- 
sary of their ancestors' deliverance. For that deliverance, 
their thanks were to be rendered to the Virgin ; and there was 
no church then dedicated to the Virgin, in Venice, except 

Neither of the cathedral church, nor of this dedicated to 
St. Mary the Beautiful, is one stone left upon another. But, 
from that which has been raised on the site of the latter, we 
may receive a most important lesson, introductory to our im- 
mediate subject, if first we glance back to the traditional his- 
tory of the church which has been destroyed. 

iv. No more honorable epithet than u traditional " can 

* Mutinelli, Annali Urbani, lib. i. p. 24; and the Chronicle of 1738, 
quoted by Galliciolli: " attrovandosi allora la giesia de Sta. Maria Formosa 
sola giesia del nome della gloriosa Vergine Maria." 


be attached to what is recorded concerning it, yet I should, 
grieve to lose the legend of its first erection. The Bishop of 
Uderzo, driven by the Lombards from his Bishopric, as he 
was praying, beheld in a vision the Virgin Mother, who 
ordered him to found a church in her honor, in the place 
where he should see a white cloud rest. And when he went 
out, the white cloud went before him; and on the place 
where it rested he built a church, and it was called the Church 
of St. Mary the Beautiful, from the loveliness of the form in 
which she had appeared in the vision.* 

The first church stood only for about two centuries. It was 
rebuilt in 864, and enriched with various relics some fifty 
years later; relics belonging principally to St. Nicodemus, 
and much lamented when they and the church were together 
destroyed by fire in 1105. 

It was then rebuilt in " magnifica forma," much resembling, 
according to Corner, the architecture of the chancel of St. 
Mark ; f but the information which I find in various writers,, 
as to the period at which it was reduced to its present con- 
dition, is both sparing and contradictory. 

v. Thus, by Corner, we are told that this church, resem- 
bling St. Mark's, " remained untouched for more than four 
centuries," until, in 1689, it was thrown down by an earth- 
quake, and restored by the piety of a rich merchant, Turriii 
Toroni, "in ornatissima forma;" and that, for the greater 
beauty of the renewed church, it had added to it two facades 
of marble. With this information that of the Padre delF 
Oratoria agrees, only he gives the date of the earlier rebuild- 
ing of the church in 1175, and ascribes it to an architect of the 
name of Barbetta. But Quadri, in his usually accurate little 

*Or from the brightness of the cloud, according to the Padre who 
arranged the "Memorie delle Chiese di Venezia," vol. iii. p. 7. Compare 
Corner, p. 42. This first church was built in 639. 

f Perhaps both Corner and the Padre founded their diluted information 
on the short sentence of Sansovino : " Finalmente, 1' anno 1075, fu ridotta 
a perfezione da Paolo Barbetta, sul modello del corpo di mezzo della chiesa 

v Marco." Sansovino, however, gives 842, instead of 864, as the date 
of the first rebuilding. 


guide, tells us that this Barbetta rebuilt the church in 
the fourteenth century ; and that of the two f agades, so much 
admired by Corner, one is of the sixteenth century, and its 
architect unknown ; and the rest of the church is of the seven- 
teenth, " in the style of Sansovino." 

vi. There is no occasion to examine, or endeavor to recon- 
cile, these conflicting accounts. All that is necessary for the 
reader to know is, that every vestige of the church in which 
the ceremony took place was destroyed at least as early as 
1689 ; and that the ceremony itself, having been abolished in 
the close of the fourteenth century, is only to be conceived as 
taking place in that more ancient church, resembling St. 
Mark's, which, even according to Quadri, existed until that 
period. I would, therefore, endeavor to fix the reader's 
mind, for a moment, on the contrast between the former and 
latter aspect of this plot of ground ; the former, when it had 
its Byzantine church, and its yearly procession of the Doge 
and the Brides ; and the latter, when it has its Eenaissance 
church " in the style of Sansovino," and its yearly honoring is 
done away. 

vn. And, first, let us consider for a little the significance 
and nobleness of that early custom of the Venetians, which 
brought about the attack and the rescue of the year 943 : that 
there should be but one marriage day for the nobles of the 
whole nation,* so that all might rejoice together; and that 
the sympathy might be full, not only of the families who that 
year beheld the alliance of their children, and prayed for 
them in one crowd, weeping before the altar, but of all the 
families of the state, who saw, in the day which brought hap- 
piness to others, the anniversary of their own. Imagine the 
strong bond of brotherhood thus sanctified among them, and 
consider also the effect on the minds of the youth of the state ; 
the greater deliberation and openness necessarily given to the 
contemplation of marriage, to which all the people were 

* Or at least for its principal families. Vide Appendix 8, " Early Vene- 
tian Marriages." 


solemnly to bear testimony ; the more lofty and unselfish tone 
which it would give to all their thoughts. It was the exact 
contrary of stolen marriage. It was marriage to which God 
and man were taken for witnesses, and every eye was invoked 
for its glance, and every tongue for its prayers.* 

viii. Later historians have delighted themselves in dwell- 
ing on the pageantry of the marriage day itself, but I do not 
find that they have authority for the splendor of their descrip- 
tions. I cannot find a word in the older Chronicles about the 
jewels or dress of the brides, and I believe the ceremony to 
have l.een more quiet and homely than is usually supposed. 
The only sentence which gives color to the usual accounts of 
it is one of Sansovino's, in which he says that the magnificent 
dress of the brides in his day was founded " on ancient cus- 
tom." f However this may have been, the circumstances of 
the rite were otherwise very simple. Each maiden brought 
her dowry with her in a small "cassetta," or chest; they 
went first to the cathedral, and waited for the youths, who 
having come, they heard mass together, and the bishop 
preached to them and blessed them : and so each bridegroom 
took his bride and her dowry and bore her home. 

ix. It seems that the alarm given by the attack of the 

* "Nazionale quasi la ceremonia, perciocche per essa nuovi difcnsori ad 
acquistar andava la patria, sostegni nuovi le leggi, la liberta." Mxtinelli. 

f " Vestita, per antico tiso, di bianco, e con chiome sparse giu per le 
spalle, conteste con flla d' oro." "Dressed according to ancient usage in 
white, and with her hair thrown down upon her shoulders, interwoven with 
threads of gold." This was when she was first brought out of her chamber 
t<> be seen by the guests invited to the espousals. " And when the form of 
the espousal has been gone through, she is led, to the sound of pipes and 
trumpets, and other musical instruments, round the room, dancing serenely 
nil (In time, and bowing Jierself before the guests (ballando placidamente, e 
facendo inchini ai convitati); and so she returns to her chamber: and when 
other guests have arrived, she again comes forth, and makes the circuit of 
the chamber. And this is repeated for an hour or somewhat more ; and 
then, accompanied by many ladies who wait for her, she enters a gondola 
without it- t'el/.e (canopy), and, seated on a somewhat raised seat covered 
with rarpi-K with a trreat number of gondolas following her, she goes to 
vi-it the mona-teries and convents, whensoever she has any relations. 


pirates put an end to the custom of fixing one day for all 
marriages : but the main objects of the institution were still 
attained by the perfect publicity given to the marriages of all 
the noble families ; the bridegroom standing in the Court of 
the Ducal Palace to receive congratulations on his betrothal, 
and the whole body of the nobility attending the nuptials, and 
rejoicing, "as at some personal good fortune ; since, by the 
constitution of the state, they are for ever incorporated to- 
gether, as if of one and the same family." * But the festival 
of the 2nd of February, after the year 943, seems to have been 
observed only in memory of the deliverance of the brides, and 
no longer set apart for public nuptials. 

x. There is much difficulty in reconciling the various 
accounts, or distinguishing the inaccurate ones, of the manner 
of keeping this memorable festival. I shall first give Sanso- 
vino's, which is the popular one, and then note the points of 
importance in the counter-statements. Sansovino says that 
the success of the pursuit of the pirates was owing to the ready 
help and hard fighting of the men of the district of Sta. Maria 
Formosa, for the most part trunkmakers ; and that they, 
having been presented after the victory to the Doge and the 
Senate, were told to ask some favor for their reward. " The 
good men then said that they desired the Prince, with his 
wife and the Signory, to visit every year the church of their 
district, on the day of its feast. And the Prince asking them, 
4 Suppose it should rain ? ' they answered, ' We will give you 
hats to cover you ; and if you are thirsty, we will give you to 
drink.' Whence is it that the Vicar, in the name of the people, 
presents to the Doge, on his visit, two flasks of malvoisie f and 
two oranges ; and presents to him two gilded hats, bearing the 
arms of the Pope, of the Prince, and of the Yicar. And thus 
was instituted the Feast of the Maries, which was called noble 

* Sansovino. 

f English, " Malmsey." The reader will find a most amusing account 
of the negotiations between the English and Venetians, touching the supply 
of London with this wine, in Mr. Brown's translation of the Giustiniani 
papers. See Appendix IX. 


and famous because the people from all round came together 
to behold it. And it was celebrated in this manner :...." 
The account which follows is somewhat prolix ; but its substance 
is, briefly, that twelve maidens were elected, two for each divi- 
sion of the city ; and that it was decided by lot which contrade, 
or quarters of the town, should provide them with dresses. 
This was done at enonnous expense, one contrada contending 
with another, and even the jewels of the treasury of St. Mark 
bring lent for the occasion to the "Maries," as the twelve 
damsels were called. They, being thus dressed with gold, and 
silver, and jewels, went in their galley to St. Mark's for the 
Doge, who joined them with the Signory, and went first to 
San Pietro di Castello to hear mass on St. Mark's day, the 
31st of January, and to Santa Maria Formosa on the 2nd of 
February, the intermediate day being spent in passing in 
procession through the streets of the city; "and sometimes 
there arose quarrels about the places they should pass through, 
for every one wanted them to pass by his house." 

xi. Nearly the same account is given by Corner, who, 
however, does not say anything about the hats or the malvoisie. 
These, however, we find again in the Matricola de' Casseleri, 
which, of course, sets the services of the trunkmakers and the 
privileges obtained by them in the most brilliant light. The 
quaintness of the old Venetian is hardly to be rendered into 
English. " And you must know that the said trunkmakers 
were the men who were the cause of such victory, and of 
taking the galley, and of cutting all the Triestines to pieces, 
because, at that time, they were valiant men and well in order. 
The which victory was on the 2nd February, on the day of the 
Madonna of candles. And at the request and entreaties of the 
said trunkmakers, it was decreed that the Doge, every year, 
a> long as Venice shall endure, should go on the eve of the 
said feast to vespers in the said church, with the Signory. 
And be it noted, that the vicar is obliged to give to the Doge 
two flasks of malvoisie, with two oranges besides. And so 
it is observed, and will be observed always." The reader 
must nbscru- tlic nmtimial confusion between St. Mark's day 


the 31st of January, and Candlemas the 2nd of February. 
The fact appears to be, that the marriage day in the old 
republic was St. Mark's day, and the recovery of the brides 
was the same day at evening ; so that, as we are told by 
Sansovino, the commemorative festival began on that day, but 
it was continued to the day of the Purification, that especial 
thanks might be rendered to the Virgin; and, the visit to 
Sta. Maria Formosa being the most important ceremony of the 
whole festival, the old chroniclers, and even Sansovino, got 
confused, and asserted the victory itself to have taken place 
on the day appointed for that pilgrimage. 

xii. I doubt not that the reader who is acquainted with 
the beautiful lines of Rogers is as much grieved as I am at the 
interference of the "casket-makers" with the achievement 
which the poet ascribes to the bridegrooms alone ; an inter- 
ference quite as inopportune as that of old Le Balafre with 
the victory of his nephew, in the unsatisfactory conclusion of 
" Quentin Durward." I am afraid I cannot get the casket- 
makers quite out of the way ; but it may gratify some of my 
readers to know that a chronicle of the year 1378, quoted by 
Galliciolli, denies the agency of the people of Sta. Maria 
Formosa altogether, in these terms : " Some say that the peo- 
ple of Sta. M. Formosa were those who recovered the spoil 
(" predra ;" I. may notice, in passing, that most of the old 
chroniclers appear to consider the recovery of the caskets 
rather more a subject of congratulation than that of the 
brides), and that, for their reward, they asked the Doge and 
Signory to visit Sta. M. Formosa ; but this is false. The 
going to Sta. M. Formosa was because the thing had succeeded 
on that day, and because this was then the only church in 
Venice in honor of the Virgin." But here is again the mis- 
take about the day itself ; and besides if we get rid altogether 
of the trunkmakers, how are we to account for the ceremony 
of the oranges and hats, of which the accounts seem authentic ? 
If, however, the reader likes to substitute "carpenters" or 
"house-builders" for casket-makers, he may do so with great 
reason (vide Galliciolli, lib. ii. 1758) ; but I fear that one or 


tlie other body of tradesmen must be allowed to have had no 
small share in the honor of the victory. 

xni. But whatever doubt attaches to the particular cir- 
cumstances of its origin, there is none respecting the splendor 
of the festival itself, as it was celebrated for four centuries 
afterwards. We find that each contrada spent from 800 to 
1000 xecchins in the dress of the u Maries" entrusted to it ; 
hut I cannot find among how many contrade the twelve Maries 
\u-re divided ; it is also to be supposed that most of the 
accounts given refer to the later periods of the celebration of 
the festival. In the beginning of the eleventh century, the 
good Doge Pietro Orseolo II. left in his will the third of his 
entire fortune "per la Festa della Marie;" and, in the four- 
teenth century, so many people came from the rest of Italy to 
see it, that special police regulations were made for it, and the 
Council of Ten were twice summoned before it took place.* 
The expense lavished upon it seems to have increased till the 
year 1379, when all the resources of the republic were required 
for the terrible war of Chiozza, and all festivity was for 
that time put an end to. The issue of the war left the Vene- 
tians with neither the power nor the disposition to restore the 
totival on its ancient scale, and they seem to have been, 
ashamed to exhibit it in reduced splendor. It was entirely 

v. As if to do away even with its memory, every fea- 
ture of the surrounding scene which was associated with that 
festival has been in succeeding ages destroyed. With one soli- 
tary exception,! there is not a house left in the whole Piazza 
of Santa Maria Formosa from whose windows the feata of the 
Maries lias ever been seen : of the church in which they wor- 
shipped, not a stone is left, even the form of the ground and 
direction of the neighboring canals are changed ; and there is 
i".\v but one landmark to guide the steps of the traveller to- 
the place where the white cloud rested, and the shrine was. 

" XV. dirbus et octo diebus ante festum Mariarum omni anno." Gal- 
Thc sinu- precautions were taken, before the feast of the Ascension., 
t Cast Vitlura. 


built to St. Mary the Beautiful. Yet the spot is still worth 
his pilgrimage, for he may receive a lesson upon it, though a 
painful one. Let him first fill his mind with the fair images 
of the ancient festival, and then seek that landmark the tower 
of the modern church, built upon the place where the daughters 
of Venice knelt yearly with her noblest lords ; and let him 
look at the head that is carved on the base of the tower,* still 
dedicated to St. Mary the Beautiful. 

xv. A head, huge, inhuman, and monstrous, leering in 
bestial degradation, too foul to be either pictured or described, 
or to be beheld for more than an instant : yet let it be endured 
for that instant ; for in that head is embodied the type of the 
evil spirit to which Venice was abandoned in the fourth period 
of her decline ; and it is well that we should see and feel the 
full horror of it on this spot, and know what pestilence it was 
that came and breathed upon her beaaty, until it melted away 
like the white cloud from the ancient fields of Santa Maria 

xvi. This head is one of many hundreds which disgrace 
the latest buildings of the city, all more or less agreeing in 
their expression of sneering mockery, in most cases enhanced 
by thrusting out the tongue. Most of them occur upon the 
bridges, which were among the very last works undertaken by 
the republic, several, for instance, upon the Bridge of Sighs ; 
and they are_ evidences of a delight in the contemplation of 
bestial vice, and the expression of low sarcasm, which is, I be- 
lieve, the most hopeless state into which the human mind can 
fall. This spirit of idiotic mockery is, as I have said, the most 
striking characteristic of the last period of the Renaissance, 
which, in consequence of the character thus imparted to its 
sculpture, I have called grotesque ; but it must be our imme- 
diate task, and it will be a most interesting one, to distinguish 
between this base grotesqueness, and that magnificent condition 
of fantastic imagination, which was above noticed as one of the 
chief elements of the Northern Gothic mind, Nor is this a 

* The keystone of the arch on its western side, facing the canal. 


question of interesting speculation merely : for the distinction 
1 .ctween the true and false grotesque is one which the present 
Tendencies of the English mind have rendered it practically 
important to ascertain ; and that in a degree which, until he 
lias made some progress in the consideration of the subject, the 
reader will hardly anticipate. 

xvn. But, first, I have to note one peculiarity in the late 
architecture of Venice, which will materially assist us in un- 
derstanding the true nature of the spirit which is to be the sub- 
ject of our inquiry ; and this peculiarity, singularly enough, is 
first exemplified in the very facade of Santa Maria Formosa 
which is flanked by the grotesque head to which our attention 
has just been directed. This facade, whose architect is un- 
known, consists of a pediment, sustained on four Corinthian 
pilasters, and is, I believe, the earliest in Yenice which appears 
J entirely destitute of every religious symbol, sculpture, or in- 
scription unless the Cardinal's hat upon the shield in the 
centre of the impediment be considered a religious symbol. 
The entire facade is nothing else than a monument to the Ad- 
miral Yincenzo Cappello. Two tablets, one between each pair 
of flanking pillars, record his acts and honors ; and, on the cor- 
responding spaces upon the base of the church, are two circular 
trophies, composed of halberts, arrows, flags, tridents, helmets, 
and lances : sculptures which are just as valueless in a military 
as in an ecclesiastical point of view ; for, being all copied from 
the forms of Roman arms and armor, they cannot even be re- 
ferred to for information respecting the costume of the period. 
Over the door, as the chief ornament of the facade, exactly in 
the spot which in the " barbarous" St. Mark's is occupied by 
the figure of Christ, is the statue of Yincenzo Cappello, in 
1 1-. man armor. He died in 1542 ; and we have, therefore, the 
latter part of the sixteenth century fixed as the period when, in 
Venice, churches were first built to the glory of man, instead 
of the glory of God.|| 

xvm. Throughout the whole of Scripture history, nothing 
is more remarkable than the close connection of punishment 
with the sin of vain-glory. Every other sin is occasionally per 


mitted to remain, for lengthened periods, without definite 
chastisement ; but the forgetfulness of God, and the claim of 
honor by man, as belonging to himself, are visited at once, 
whether in Hezekiah, Nebuchadnezzar, or Herod, with the 
most tremendous punishment. We have already seen, that the 
iirst reason for the fall of Venice was the manifestation of such 
a spirit ; and it is most singular to observe the definiteness with 
which it is here marked, as if so appointed, that it might be 
impossible for future ages to miss the lesson. For, in the long 
inscriptions* which record the acts of Yincenzo Cappello, it 
might, at least, have been anticipated that some expressions 
would occur indicative of remaining pretence to religious feel- 
ing, or formal acknowledgement of Divine power. But there 
are none whatever. The name of God does not once occur ; 
that of St. Mark is found only in the statement that Cappello 
was a procurator of the church :Athere is no word touching 
either on the faith or hope of the deceased ; and the only sen- 

* The inscriptions arc as follows : 
To the left of the reader. 




To the right of the reader. 











tein-e which alludes to supernatural powers at all, alludes to 
them under the heathen name of fates, in its explanation of 
what the Admiral Cappello would have accomplished, " nisi 
fata rhristianis adversa vetuissent." 

xix. Having taken sufficient note of all the baseness of 
mind which these facts indicate in the people, we shall not be 
>iirprise<l to find immediate signs of dotage in the conception 
of their architecture. The churches raised throughout this 
period are so grossly debased, that even the Italian critics of 
the present day, who are partially awakened to the true state 
of art in Italy, though blind, as yet, to its true cause, exhaust 
their terms of reproach upon these last efforts oTlhe Renais- 
sance builders. The two churches of San Moise and Santa 
Maria Zobenigo, w r hich are among the most remarkable in Venice 
for their manifestation of insolent atheism, are characterized by 
Lazari, the one as " culmine d' ogni follia architettonica," the 
other as " orrido ammasso di pietra d' Istria," with added expres- 
sions of contempt, as just as it is unmitigated. 

xx. Now both these churches, which I should like the 
render to visit in succession, if possible, after that of Sta. 
Maria Formosa, agree with that church, and with each other, 
in being totally destitute of religious symbols, and entirely 
dedicated to the honor of two Venetian families. In San 
Moise, a bust of Vincenzo Fini is set on a tall narrow pyramid, 
above the central door, with this marvellous inscription : 


It is very difficult to translate this ; for fastigium, besides 
its general sense, has a particular one in architecture, and refers 
to the part of the Iniilding occupied by the bust ; but the main 
mi-anil^ of H is that Vincenzo Fini fills all height with his 
virtue." The inscription goes on into farther praise, but this ex- 
ample is enough. Over the two lateral doors are two other 
laudatory inscriptions of younger members of the Fini family, 
the dates of death of the three heroes being 1660, 1685, and 
1726, marking thus the period of consummate degradation. 


xxi. In like manner, the Church of Santa Maria Zobenigo 
is entirely dedicated to the Barbara family ; the only religious 
.symbols with which it is invested being statues of angels blow- 
ing brazen trumpets, intended to express the spreading of the 
fame of the Barbara family in heaven. At the top of the 
church is Venice crowned, between Justice and Temperance, 
Justice holding a pair of grocer's scales, of iron, swinging in 
the wind. There is a two-necked stone eagle (the Barbara 
crest), with a copper crown, in the. centre of the pediment. 
A huge statue of a Barbara in armor, with a fantastic head- 
dress, over the central door ; and four Barbaras in niches, two 
on each side of it, strutting statues, in the common stage 
postures of the period, Jo. Maria Barbara, sapiens ordinum ; 
Marinus Barbara, Senator (reading a speech in a Ciceronian 
attitude) ; Franc. Barbara, legatus in classe (in armor, with 
high-heeled boots, and looking resolutely fierce) ; and Carolus 
Barbara, sapiens ordinum : the decorations of the fagade being 
completed by two trophies, consisting of drums, trumpets, flags 
and cannon ; and six plans, sculptured in relief, of the towns 
of Zara, Candia, Padua, Rome, Corfu, and Spalatro. 

xxn. When the traveller has sufficiently considered the 
meaning of this facade, he ought to visit the Church of St. 
Eustachio, remarkable for the dramatic effect of the group of 
sculpture on its fagade, and then the Church of the Ospeda- 
letto (see Index, under head Ospedaletto) ; noticing, on his 
way, the heads on the foundations of the Palazzo Corner della 
Regina, and the Palazzo Pesaro, and any other heads carved 
on the modern bridges, closing with those on the Bridge of 

He will then have obtained a perfect idea of the style and 
feeling of the Grotesque Renaissance, jl cannot pollute this 
volume by any illustration of its worst forms, but the h'ead 
turned to the front, on the right-hand in the opposite Plate, 
will give the general reader an idea of its most graceful and 
refined developments. The figure set beside it, on the left, is 
a piece of noble grotesque, from fourteenth century Gothic ; 
and it must be our present task to ascertain the nature of the 


difference which exists between the two, by an accurate inquiry 
into the true essence of the grotesque spirit itself. 

xxm. First, then, it seems to me that the grotesque is, in 
almost all cases, composed of two elements, one ludicrous, the 
other fearful ; that, as one or other of these elements prevails, 
the grotesque falls into two branches, sportive grotesque and 
terrible grotesque ; but that we cannot legitimately consider it 
under these two aspects, because there are hardly any exam- 
ples which do not in some degree combine both elements; 
there are few grotesques so utterly playful as to be overcast 
with no shade of fearfulness, and few so fearful as abso- 
lutely to exclude all ideas of jest. But although we cannot 
separate the grotesque itself into two branches, we may easily 
examine separately the two conditions of mind which it seems 
to combine ; and consider successively what are the kinds of 
jest, and what the kinds of fearfulness, which may be legiti- 
mately expressed in the various walks of art, and how their 
expressions actually occur in the Gothic and Kenaissance 

First, then, what are the conditions of playfulness which 
we may fitly express in noble art, or which (for this is the 
same thing) are consistent with nobleness in humanity ? In 
other words, what is the proper function of play, with respect 
not to youth merely, but to all mankind ? . 

xxiv. It is a much more serious question than may be at 
first supposed ; for a healthy manner of play is necessary in 
order to a healthy manner of work : and because the choice 
of our recreation is, in most cases, left to ourselves, while the 
nature of our work is generally fixed by necessity or authority, 
it may be well doubted whether more distressful consequences 
may not have resulted from mistaken choice in play than from 
mistaken direction in labor. 

?: xxv. Observe, however, that we are only concerned, 
here, with that kind of play which causes laughter or implies 
recreation, i,,,t with that which consists in the excitement of 
the energies whether of body or mind. Muscular exertion is, 
indeed, in youth, one of the conditions of recreation; u but 


neither the violent bodily labor which children of all ages- 
agree to call play," nor the grave excitement of the mental 
faculties in games of skill or chance, are in anywise connected 
with the state of feeling we have here to investigate, namely, 
that sportiveness which man possesses in common with many 
inferior creatures, but to which his higher faculties give nobler 
expression in the various manifestations of wit, humor, and 

With respect to the manner in which this instinct of play- 
fulness is indulged or repressed, mankind are broadly distin- 
guishable into four classes : the men who play wisely ; who 
play necessarily ; who play inordinately ; and who play not at 

xxvi. First: Those who play wisely.! It is evident that 
the idea of any kind^oj^jrjlaj^c^njpnly be__associated^with-^he 
idea of an imperfect,_childish, and fatigable nature. As far 
as men can raise that nature, so that it shall no longer be in- 
terested by trifles or exhausted by toils, they raise it above 
play ; he whose heart is at once fixed upon heaven, and open 
to the earth, so as to apprehend the importance of heavenly 
doctrines, and the compass of human sorrow, will have little 
disposition for jest; and exactly in proportion to the breadth 
and depth of his character and intellect, will be, in general, 
the incapability of surprise, or exuberant and sudden emotion, 
which must render play impossible. It is, however, evidently 
not intended that many men should even reach, far less pass 
their lives in, that solemn state of thoughtful ness, which 
brings them into the nearest brotherhood with their Divine 
Master ; and the highest and healthiest state which is compe- 
tent to ordinary humanity appears to be that which, accept- 
ing the necessity of recreation, and yielding to the impulses of 
natural delight springing out of health and innocence, does, 
indeed, condescend often to playfulness, but never without 
such deep love of God, of truth, and of humanity, as shall 
make even its slightest words reverent, its idlest fancies pro- 
fitable, and its keenest satire indulgent. Wordsworth and 
Plato furnish us with, perhaps, the finest and highest exam- 


pies of tliis playfulness : in the one case, unmixed with satire, 
the perfectly simple effusion of that spirit 

" Which gives to all the self -same bent, 
Whose life is wise, and innocent;" 

in Plato, and, by the by, in a very wise book of our own 

times, not unworthy of being named in such companionship, 
" Friends in Council," mingled with an exquisitely tender and 
loving satire. 

xxvii. Secondly : The men who play necessarily. That 
highest species of playfulness, which we have just been con- 
sidering, is evidently the condition of a mind, not only highly 
cultivated, but so habitually trained to intellectuaL labor that 
it can bring a considerable force of accurate thought into its 
moments even of recreation. This is not possible, unless so 
much repose of mind and heart are enjoyed, even at the 
periods of greatest exertion, that the rest required by the system 
is diffused over the whole life. To the majority of mankind, 
such a state is evidently unattainable. They must, perforce, 
pass a large part of their lives in employments both irksome 
and toilsome, demanding an expenditure of energy which ex- 
hausts the system, and yet consuming that energy upon sub- 
jects incapable of interesting the nobler faculties. When such 
employments are intermitted, those noble instincts, fancy, 
imagination, and curiosity, are all hungry for the food which 
the labor of the day has denied to them, while yet the weari- 
ness of the body, in a great degree, forbids their application 
to any serious subject. They therefore exert themselves with- 
out any determined purpose, and under no vigorous restraint, 
but gather, as best they may, such various nourishment, and 
put themselves to such fantastic exercise, as may soonest in- 
demnify them for their past imprisonment, and prepare them 
to endure their recurrence. This sketching of the mental 
limbs as their fetters fall away, this leaping and dancing of 
[the heart and intellect, when they are restored to the fresh air 
of heaven, yet half paralyzed by their captivity, and unable to 
turn themselves to any earnest purpose, I call necessary play. 


It is impossible to exaggerate its importance, whether in polity, 
or in art. 

xxvin. Thirdly : The men who play inordinately. The 
most perfect state of society which, consistently with due un- 
derstanding of man's nature, it may be permitted us to con- 
ceive, would be one in which the whole human race were 
divided, more or less distinctly, into workers and thinkers ; that 
is to say, into the two classes, who only play wisely, or play 
necessarily. But the number and the toil of the working class 
are enormously increased, probably more than doubled, by the 
vices of the men who neither play wisely nor necessarily, but 
are enabled by circumstances, and permitted by their want of 
principle, to make amusement the object of their existence. 
There is not any moment of the lives of such men which is 
not injurious to others ; both because they leave the work un- 
done which was appointed for them, and because they neces- 
sarily think wrongly, whenever it becomes compulsory upon 
them to think at all. The greater portion of the misery of 
this world arises from the false opinions of men whose idleness 
has physically incapacitated them from forming true ones. 
Every duty which we omit obscures some truth which we 
should have known ; and the guilt of -a life spent in the pur-[ 
suit of pleasure is twofold, partly consisting in the perversion 
of action, and partly in the dissemination of falsehood. 

xxix. There is, however, a less criminal, though hardly 
less dangerous condition of mind ; which, though not failing 
in its more urgent duties, fails in the finer conscientiousness 
which regulates the degree, and directs the choice, of amuse- 
ment, at those times when amusement is allowable. The most 
frequent error in this respect is the want of reverence in ap- 
proaching subjects of importance or sacredness, and of caution 
in the expression of thoughts which may encourage like irrev- 
erence in others : and these faults are apt to gain upon the 
mind until it becomes habitually more sensible to what is lu- 
dicrous and accidental, than to what is grave and essential, in 
any subject that is brought before it ; or even, at last, desires 
to perceive or to know nothing but what may end in jest. 


\Yrv generally minds of this character are active and able; 
and many of them are so far conscientious, that they believe 
their jesting forwards their work. But it is difficult to calcu- 
late- the harm they do, by destroying the reverence which is 
,,ur best guide into all truth ; for weakness and evil are easily 
"visible, but greatness and goodness are often latent ; and we do 
in finite mischief by exposing weakness to eyes which cannot 
comprehend greatness. This error, however, is more connected 
with abuses of the satirical than of the playful instinct ; and I 
shall have more to say of it presently. 

xxx. Lastly : The men who do not play at all : those 
who are so dull or so morose as to be incapable of inventing or 
enjoying jest, and in whom care, guilt, or pride represses all 
healthy exhilaration of the fancy; or else men utterly op- 
pressed with labor, and driven too hard by the necessities of 
the world to be capable of any species of happy relaxation. 

xxxi. We have now to consider the way in which the pres- 
ence or absence of joyfulness, in these several classes, is ex- 
pressed in art. 

1. Wise play. The first and noblest class hardly ever 
.-peak through art, except seriously; they feel its nobleness 
[>.. pn ft wndly, and value the time necessary for its produc- 
tion too highly, to employ it in the rendering of trivial 
thoughts. The playful fancy of a moment may innocently be 
expressed by the passing word ; but he can hardly have 
learned the preciousness of life, who passes days in the elabo- 
ration of a jest. jsAnd, as to what regards the delineation of 
him nin characterAthe nature of all noble art is to epitomize and 
embrace so much at once, that its subject can never be alto- 
gether ludicrous ; it must possess all the solemnities of the 
whole, not the brightness of the partial, truth. For all truth 
that makes us smile is partial. The novelist amuses us by his 
relation of a particular incident; but the painter cannot set 
tn v one of his characters before us without giving some glimpse 
of its whole career. That of which the historian informs us 
in successive pages, it is the task of the painter to inform us of 
. writing upon the countenance not merely the expression 


of the moment, but the history of the life : and the history of 
a vlife can never be a jest. 

Whatever part^therefore, of the sportive energy of these 
men of the highest class would be expressed in verbal wit or 
humor finds small utterance through their art, and will assur- 
edly be confined, if it occur there at all, to scattered and 
trivial incidents. But so far as their minds can recreate 
themselves by the imagination of strange, yet not laughable, 
forms, which, either in costume, in landscape, or in any other 
accessaries, may be combined with those necessary for their 
more earnest purposes, we find them delighting in such inven- 
tions ; and a species of grotesqueness thence arising in all their 
work, which is indeed one of its most valuable characteristics, 
but which is so intimately connected with the sublime or ter-. 
rible form of the grotesque, that it will be better to notice it 
under that heacL^T 

xxxn. 2. JNecessary play. I have dwelt much in a 
former portion of this work, on the justice and desirableness 
of employing the minds of inferior workmen, and of the lower 
orders in general, in the production of objects of art of one 
kind or another. So far as men of this class are compelled to 
hard manual labor for their daily bread, so far forth their 
artistical efforts must be rough and ignorant, and their artisti- 
cal perceptions comparatively dull. Now it is not possible, 
with blunt perceptions and rude hands, to produce works 
which shall be pleasing by their beauty ; but it is perfectly 
possible to produce such as shall be interesting by their char- 
acter or amusing by their satire. For one hard-working man 
who possesses the finer instincts which decide on perfection of 
lines and harmonies of color, twenty possess dry humor or 
quaint fancy ; not because these faculties were originally given 
to the human race, or to any section of it, in greater degree 
than the sense of beauty, but because these are exercised in 
our daily intercourse with each other, and developed by the 
interest which we take in the affairs of life, while the others 
are not. And because, therefore, a certain degree of success will 
probably attend the effort to express this hum or or fancy, while 


comparative failure will assuredly result from an ignorant 
struggle to reach the forms of solemn beauty, the working- 
maii, who turns his attention partially to art, will probably, 
and wisely, choose to do that which he can do best, and indulge 
the pride of an effective satire rather than subject himself to 
assured mortification in the pursuit of beauty ; and this the 
more, because we have seen that his application to art is to be 
phi vful and recreative, and it is not in recreation that the con- 
ditions of perfection can be fulfilled. 

xxxiii. Now all the forms of art which result from the 
comparatively recreative exertion of minds more or less blunted 
or encumbered by other cares and toils, the art which we may 
call generally art of the wayside, as opposed to that which is 
the business of men's lives, is, in the best sense of the word, 
Grotesque. And it is noble or inferior, first, according to the 
tone of the minds which have produced it, and in proportion 
to their knowledge, wit, love of truth, and kindness ; secondly, 
according to the degree of strength they have been able to 
give forth ; but yet, however much we may find in it needing 
to be forgiven, always delightful so long as it is the work of 
good and ordinarily intelligent men. And its delightfulness 
ought mainly to consist in those very imperfections which 
mark it for work done in times of rest. It is not its own 
merit so much as the enjoyment of him who produced it, 
which is to be the source of the spectator's pleasure; it is to 
the strength of his sympathy, not to the accuracy of his criti- 
cism, that it makes appeal ; and no man can indeed be a lover 
of what is best in the higher walks of art, who has not feeling 
and charity enough to rejoice with the rude sportiveness of 
lii-arts that have escaped out of prison, and to be thankful for 
the flowers which men have laid their burdens down to sow by 
the wayside. 

xxxiv. And consider what a vast amount of human work 
this right understanding of its meaning will make fruitful and 
admirable to us, which otherwise we could only have passed 
by with contempt. There is very little architecture in the 
world which is, in the full sense of the words, good and noble. 


A few pieces of Italian Gothic and Romanesque, a few scat- 
tered fragments of Gothic cathedrals, and perhaps two or 
three of Greek temples, are all that we possess approaching 
to an ideal of perfection. 1 All the rest Egyptian, Norman, 
Arabian, and most Gothic, and, which is .very noticeable, for 
the most part all the strongest and mightiest depend for their 
power on some developement of the grotesque spirit ; but 
much more the inferior domestic architecture of the middle 
ages, and what similar conditions remain to this day in coun- 
tries fronuwhich the life of art has not yet been banished by 
its laws. L.The fantastic gables, built up in scroll-work and 
steps, of the Flemish street ; the pinnacled roofs set with 
their small humorist double windows, as if with so many ears 
and eyes, of Northern France ; the blackened timbers, crossed 
and carved into every conceivable waywardness of imagina- 
tion, of Normandy and old England ; the rude hewing of the 
pine timbers of the Swiss cottage ; the projecting turrets and 
bracketed oriels of the German street ; these, and a thousand 
other forms, not in themselves reaching any high degree of 
excellence, are yet admirable, and most precious, as the fruits 
of a rejoicing energy in uncultivated minds. It is easier to 
take away the energy, than to add the cultivation ; and the 
only effect of the better knowledge which civilized nations 
now possess, has been, as we have seen in a former chapter, 
to forbid their being happy, without enabling them to be 
great. J 

xxxv. It is very necessary, however, with respect to this 
provincial or rustic architecture, that we should carefully dis- 
tinguish its truly grotesque from its picturesque elements. In 
the "Seven Lamps" I denned the picturesque to be "parasiti- 
cal sublimity," or sublimity belonging to the external or acci- 
dental characters of a thing, not to the thing itself. For 
instance, when a highland cottage roof is covered with frag- 
ments of shale instead of slates, it becomes picturesque, be- 
cause the irregularity and rude fractures of the rocks, and 
their grey and gloomy color, give to it something of the 
savageness, and much of the general aspect, of the slope of a 


mountain side. But as a mere cottage roof, it cannot be sub- 
lime, and whatever sublimity it derives from the wildness or 
sternness which the mountains have given it in its covering, 
is, so far forth, parasitical. The mountain itself would have 
been grand, which -is much more than picturesque ; but the 
cottage cannot be grand as such, and the parasitical grandeur 
which it may possess by accidental qualities, is the character 
for which men have long agreed to use the inaccurate word 
" Picturesque." 

xxxvi. On the other hand, beauty cannot be parasitical. 
There is nothing so small or so contemptible, but it may be 
beautiful in its own right. The cottage may be beautiful, and 
the smallest moss that grows on its roof, and the minutest 
fibre of that moss which the microscope can raise into visible 
form, and all of them in their own right, not less than the 
mountains and the sky ; so that we use no peculiar term to 
express their beauty, however diminutive, but only when the 
sublime element enters, without sufficient worthiness in the 
nature of the thing to which it is attached. 

xxxvu. Now this picturesque element, which is always 
given, if by nothing else, merely by ruggedness, adds usually 
very largely to the pleasurableness of grotesque work, especi- 
ally to that of its inferior kinds ; but it is not for this reason 
to be confounded with the grotesqueness itself. The knots 
and rents of the timbers, the irregular lying of the shingles on 
the roofs, the vigorous light and shadow, the fractures and 
weather-stains of the old stones, which were so deeply loved 
and so admirably rendered by our lost Prout, are the pictur- 
esque elements of the architecture : the grotesque ones are 
those which are not produced by the working of nature and 
of time, but exclusively by the fancy of man ; and, as also for 
the most part by his indolent and uncultivated fancy, they are 
always, in some degree, wanting in grandeur, unless the pic- 
turesque element be united with them. 

xxxviii. 3. Inordinate play. The reader will have some 
difficulty, I fear, in keeping clearly in his mind the various 
divisions of our subject; but, when he has once read the 


chapter through, he will see their places and coherence. We 
have next to consider the expression throughout of the minds 
of men who indulge themselves in unnecessary play. It is 
evident that a large number of these men will be more refined 
and more highly educated than those who only play neces- 
sarily ; the power of pleasure-seeking implies, in general, for- 
tunate circumstances of life. It is evident also that their play 
will not be so hearty, so simple, or so joyful ; and this 
deficiency of brightness will affect it in proportion to its 
unnecessary and unlawful continuance, until at last it becomes 
a restless and dissatisfied indulgence in excitement, or a pain- 
ful delving after exhausted springs of pleasure. _ 

The art through which this temper is expressed will, in all I 
probability, be refined and sensual, therefore, also, assuredly J 
feeble ; and because, in the failure of the joyful energy of the 
mind, there will fail, also, its perceptions and its sympathies, 
it will be entirely deficient in expression of character, and 
acuteness of thought, but will be peculiarly restless, manifest- 
ing its desire for excitement in idle changes of subject and 
purpose. Incapable of true imagination, it will seek to sup- 
ply its place by exaggerations, incoherencies, and monstrosi- 
ties ; and the form of the grotesque to which it gives rise 
will be an incongruous chain of hackneyed graces, idly thrown 
together, prettinesses or sublimities, not of its own inven- 
tion, associated in forms which will be absurd without being 
fantastic, and monstrous without being terrible. And because, 
in the continual pursuit of pleasure, men lose both cheerful- 
ness and charity, there will be small hilarity, but much malice, 
in this grotesque ; yet a weak malice, incapable of express- 
ing its own bitterness, not having grasp enough of truth to 1 
become forcible, and exhausting itself in impotent or disgust- / 
ing caricature. 

xxxix. Of course, there are infinite ranks and kinds of 
this grotesque, according to the natural power of the minds 
which originate it, and to the degree in which they have lost 
themselves. Its highest condition is that which first developed 
itself among the enervated Romans, and which was brought 


to the highest perfection of which it wa& capable, by Raphael, 
in the arabesques of the Vatican. It may be generally de- 
M-ribed as an elaborate and luscious form of nonsense. Its. 
lower conditions are found in the common upholstery and 
decorations which, over the whole of civilized Europe, have 
>prung from this poisonous root; an artistical pottage, com- 
posed of nymphs, cupids, and satyrs, with shreddings of head& 
and paws of meek wild beasts, and nondescript vegetables. 
And the lowest of all are those which have not even graceful 
models to recommend them, but arise out of the corruption 
of the higher schools, mingled with clownish or bestial satire,, 
as is the case in the latter Renaissance of Venice, which we 
were above examining. It is almost impossible to believe the 
depth to which the human mind can be debased in following 
this species of grotesque. In a recent Italian garden, the 
favorite ornaments frequently consist of stucco images, repre- 
senting, in dwarfish caricature, the most disgusting types of 
manhood and womanhood which can be found amidst the 
dissipation of the modern drawingroom ; yet without either 
veracity or humor, and dependent, for whatever interest they 
possess, upon simple grossness of expression and absurdity of 
, costume. ^Tpssnegs^ of one kind or another, is, indeed, an 
unfailing characteristic of the style; either latent, as in the 
re tined sensuality of the more graceful arabesques, or, in the 
worst examples, manifested in every species of obscene con- 
ception and abominable detail. In the head, described in the 
opening f this chapter, at Santa MaritTFoFmo^S; the teeth are 

XL. 4. The minds of the fourth class of men who do not 
play at all, are little likely to find expression in any trivial 
form of art, except in bitterness of mockery ; and this charac- 
ter at once stamps the work in which it appears, as belonging 
to the class of terrible, rather than of playful, grotesque. We 
have, therefore, now to examine the state of mind which gave 

to this second and more interesting branch of imaginative- 

XLI. Two great and principal passions are evidently ap- 


pointed by the Deity to rule the life of man ; namely, the love 
of God, and the fear of sin, and of its companion Death. 
How many motives we have for Love, how much there is in 
the universe to kindle our admiration and to claim our grati- 
tude, there are, happily, multitudes among us who both feel 
and teach. But it has not, I think, been sufficiently considered 
how evident, throughout the system of creation, is the purpose 
of God that we should often be affected by Fear ; not the sud- 
den, selfish, and contemptible fear of immediate danger, but 
the fear which arises out of the contemplation of great powers 
in destructive operation, and generally from the perception of 
the presence of death. Nothing appears to me more remark- 
able than the array of scenic magnificence by which the im- 
agination is appalled, in myriads of instances, when the actual 
danger is comparatively small; so that the utmost possible 
impression of awe shall be produced upon the minds of all, 
though direct suffering is inflicted upon few. Consider, for 
instance, the moral effect of a single thunder-storm. Perhaps 
two or three persons may be struck dead within the space of a 
hundred square miles ; and their deaths, unaccompanied by 
the scenery of the storm, would produce little more than a 
momentary sadness in the busy hearts of living men. I But 
the preparation for the Judgment by all that mighty gather- 
ing of clouds ; by the questioning of the forest leaves, in their 
terrified stillness, which way the winds shall go forth ; by the 
murmuring to each other, deep in the distance, of the destroy- 
ing angels before they draw forth their swords of fire ; by the 
march of the funeral darkness in the midst of the noon-day, 
and the rattling of the dome of heaven beneath the chariot- 
wheels of death ; on how many minds do not these produce 
an impression almost as great as the actual witnessing of the 
fatal issue ! and how strangely are the expressions of the 
threatening elements fitted to the apprehension of the human 
soul ! I The lurid color, the long, irregular, convulsive sound, 
the ghastly shapes of flaming and heaving cloud, are all as 
true and faithful in their appeal to our instinct of danger, as- 
the moaning or wailing of the human voice itself is to our 


instinct of pity. It is not a reasonable calculating terror which 
they awake in us ; it is no matter that we count distance by 
seconds, and measure probability by averages. That shadow of 
the thunder-cloud will still do its work upon our hearts, and 
we shall watch its passing away as if we stood upon the 
threshing-floor of Araunah. 

XLII. And this is equally the case with respect to all the 
other destructive phenomena of the universe. From the 
mightiest of them to the gentlest, from the earthquake to the 
summer shower, it will be found that they are attended by 
certain aspects of threatening, which strike terror into the 
hearts of multitudes more numerous a thousandfold than those 
who actually suffer from the ministries of judgment; and 
that, besides the fearfulness of these immediately dangerous 
phenomena, there is an occult and subtle horror belonging to 
many aspects of the creation around us, calculated often to fill 
us with serious thought, even in our times of quietness and 
peace. I understand not the most dangerous, because most 
attractive form of modern infidelity, which, pretending to 
rxalt the beneficence of the Deity, degrades it into a reckless 
infinitude of mercy, and blind obliteration of the work of sin ; 
and which does this chiefly by dwelling on the manifold ap- 
pearances of God's kindness on the face of creation. Such 
kindness is indeed everywhere and always visible; but not 
alone. Wrath and threatening are invariably mingled with 
the love ; and in the utmost solitudes of nature, the existence 
of Hell seems to me as legibly declared by a thousand spiritual 
utterances, as that of Heaven. It is well for us to dwell with 
thankfulness on the unfolding of the flower, and the falling of 
the dew, and tire sleep of the green fields in the sunshine ; but 
tin- blasted trunk, the barren rock, the moaning of the bleak 
winds, the roar of the black, perilous, merciless whirlpools of 
the mountain streams, the solemn solitudes of moors and seas, 
tlu- continual fading of all beauty into darkness, and of all 
strength into dust, have these no language for us ? We may 
seek to escape their teaching by reasonings touching the good 
which is wrought out of all evil; but it is vain sophistry. 


The good succeeds to the evil as day succeeds the night, but 
so also the evil to the good. Gerizim and Ebal, birth and 
death, light and darkness, heaven and hell, divide the existence 
of man, and his Futurity.* 

XLIII. And because the thoughts of the choice we have 
to make between these two, ought to rule us continually, not 
so much in our own actions (for these should, for the most 
part, be governed by settled habit and principle)] as in our 
manner of regarding the lives of other men, and our own 
responsibilities with respect to them ; therefore, it seems to 
me that the healthiest state into which the human mind can 
be brought is that which is capable of the greatest love, and 
the greatest awe : and this we are taught even in our times 
of rest ; for when our minds are rightly in tone, the merely 
pleasurable excitement which they seek with most avidity is 
that which rises out of the contemplation of beauty or of ter- 
ribleness. We thirst for both, and, according to the height 
and tone of our feeling, desire to see them in noble or inferior 
forms. Thus there is a Divine beauty, and a tembleness or 
sublimity coequal with it in rank, which are the subjects of 
the highest art ; and there is an inferior or ornamental beauty, 
and an inferior terribleness coequal with it in rank, which are 
the subjects of grotesque art. And the state of mind in which / \rf 
the terrible form of the grotesque is developed, is that which ^/y 
in some irregular manner, dwells upon certain conditions of 
terribleness, into the complete depth of which it does not 
enter for the time. 

XLIV. Now the things which are the proper subjects of 
human fear are twofold; those which have the power of 

Death, and those which have the nature of Sin. Of which 


there are many ranks, greater or less in power and vice, from 
the evil angels themselves down to the serpent which is their 
* The Love of God is, however, always shown by the predominance, or 
greater sum, of good, in the end; but never by the annihilation of evil. 
The modern doubts of eternal punishment are not so much the consequence 
of benevolence as of feeble powers of reasoning. Every one admits that 
God brings finite good out of finite evil. Why not, therefore, infinite good 
out of infinite evil? 


rvpe, and wliich though of a low and contemptible class, 
appears to unite the deathful and sinful natures in the most 
dearly visible\nd intelligible form ; for there is nothing eke 
which we know, of so small strength and occupying so unim- 
portant a place in the economy of creation, which yet is so 
mortal and so malignant. It is, then, on these two classes of 
objects that the mind fixes for its excitement, in that mood 
which gives rise to the terrible grotesque ; and its subject will 
be found always to unite some expression of vice and danger, 
but regarded in a peculiar temper; sometimeaulpof predeter- 
i!)ined-or involuntary apathy, sometimje^'^Bpof mockery, some- 
times (c))of diseased and un governed imaginativeness. 

irfrv. For observe, the difficulty wliich, as I above stated, 
exists in distinguishing the playful from the terrible grotesque 
arises out of this cause ; that the mind, under certain phases 
of excitement, plays with terror, and summons images which, 
if it were in another temper, would be awful, but of which, 
either in weariness or in irony, it refrains for the time to 
acknowledge the true terribleness. And the mode in which 
this refusal takes place distinguishes the noble from the igno- 
ble grotesque. For the master of the noble grotesque knows 
the depth of all at which he seems to mock, and would feel 
it at another time, or feels it in a certain undercurrent of 
thought even while he jests with it ; but the workman of the 
ignoble grotesque can feel and understand nothing, and mocks 
at all things with the laughter of the idiot and the cretin. 

To work out this distinction completely is the chief diffi- 
culty in our present inquiry ; and, in order to do so, let us 
consider the above-named three conditions of mind in succes- 
sion, with relation to objects of terror. 

jj XL vi. (A). Involuntary or predetermined apathy. We 
saw above that the grotesque was produced, chiefly in subor- 
dinate or ornamental art, by rude, and in some degree unedu- 
cated men, and in their times of rest. At such times, and in 
such subordinate work, it is impossible that they should repre- 
sent any solemn or terrible subject with a full and serious 
entrance into its feelinir. It is not in the languor of a leisure 


hour that a man will set his whole soul to conceive the means 
of representing some important truth, nor to the projecting 
angle of a timber bracket that he would trust its representa- 
tion, if conceived. And yet, in this languor, and in this 
trivial work, he must find some expression of the serious part 
of his soul, of what there is within him capable of awe, as well 
as of love. The more noble the man is, the more impossible 
it will be for him to confine his thoughts to mere loveliness, 
and that of a low order. Were ' his powers and his time un- 
limited, so that, like Fra Angelico, he could paint the Seraphim, 
in that order of beauty he could find contentment, bringing 
down heaven to earth. But by the conditions of his being, by 
his hard-worked life, by his feeble powers of execution, by the 
meanness of his employment and the languor of his heart, he 
is bound down to earth. It is the world's work that he is 
doing, and world's work is not to be done without fear. And 
w r hatever there is of deep and eternal consciousness within 
him, thrilling his mind with the sense of the presence of sin 
and death around him, must be expressed in that slight work, 
and feeble way, come of it what will. He cannot forget it, 
among all that he sees of beautiful in nature ; he may not 
bury himself among the leaves of the violet on the rocks, and 
of the lily in the glen, and twine out of them garlands of per- - 
petual gladness. He sees more in the earth than these, mis- 
ery and wrath, and discordance, and danger, and all the work 
of the dragon and his angels ; this he sees with too deep feel- 
ing lever to forget. And though when he returns to his idle 
work, it may be to gild the letters upon the page, or to carve 
the timbers of the chamber, or the stones of the pinnacle, he 
cannot give his strength of thought any more to the woe or to 
the danger, there is a shadow of them still present with him : 
and as the bright colors mingle beneath his touch, and the fair 
leaves and flowers grow at his bidding, strange horrors and 
phantasms rise by their side ; grisly beasts and venomous ser- 
pents, and spectral fiends and nameless inconsistencies of ghastly 
life, rising out of things most beautiful, and fading back into 
them again, as the harm and the horror of life do out of its 


happiness. He has seen these things; he wars with them 
daily ; he cannot but give them their part in his work, though 
in a state of comparative apathy to them at the time. He is 
but carving and gilding, and must not turn aside to weep ; but 
he knows that hell is burning on, for all that, and the smoke 
of it withers his oak-leaves. 

XLVH. Now, the feelings which give rise to the false or 
ignoble grotesque, are exactly the reverse of these. In the 
true grotesque, a man of naturally strong feeling is accidentally 
or resolutely apathetic ; in the false grotesque, a man naturally 
apathetic is forcing himself into temporary excitement. The 
horror which is expressed by the one, comes upon him whether 
he will or not ; that which is expressed by the other, is sought 
out by him, and elaborated by his art. And therefore, also, 
because the fear of the one is true, and of true things, however 
fantastic its expression may be, there will be reality in it, and 
force. It is not a manufactured terribleness, whose author, 
when he had finished it, knew not if it would terrify any one 
else or not : but it is a terribleness taken from the life ; a 
>jK'ctre which the workman indeed saw, and which, as it ap- 
palled him, will appal us also. But the other workman never 
felt any Divine fear ; he never shuddered when he heard the 
cry from the burning towers of the earth, 

" Venga Medusa; si lo farem di smalto." 

He is stone already, and needs no gentle hand laid upon his 
eyes to save him. 

*.. XLvm. I do not mean what I say in this place to apply to 
the creations of the imagination. It is not as the creating but 
as the seeing man, that we are here contemplating the master 
of the true grotesque. It is because the dreadf ulness of the 
universe around him weighs upon his heart, that his work is 
wild ; and therefore through the whole of it we shall find the 
evidence of deep insight into nature. His beasts and birds, 
however monstrous, will have profound relations with the true. 
H'- maybe an ignorant man, and little acquainted with the 
laws of nature ; he is certainly a busy man, and has not much 


time to watch nature ; but he never saw a serpent cross his 
path, nor a bird flit across the sky, nor a lizard bask upon a 
stone, without learning so much of the sublimity and inner 
nature of each as will not suffer him thenceforth to conceive 
them coldly. He may not be able to carve plumes or scales 
well ; but his creatures will bite and fly, for all that. The ig- 
noble workman is the very reverse of this. He never felt, 
never looked at nature ; and if he endeavor to imitate the 
work of the other, all his touches will be made at random, and 
all his extravagances will be ineffective ; he may knit brows, 
and twist lips, and lengthen beaks, and sharpen teeth, but it 
will be all in vain. He may make his creatures disgusting, but 
never fearful. 

XLIX. There is, however, often another cause of difference 
than this. The true grotesque being^the expression of the re- 
pose or play of a serious mind, there is a false grotesque op- 
posed toTt, which is the result of the full exertion of a frivo- 
lous one. There is much grotesque which is wrought out with 
exquisite care and pains, and as much labor given to it as if it 
were of the noblest subject ; so that the workman is evidently 
no longer apathetic, and has no excuse for unconnectedness of 
thought, or sudden unreasonable fear. If he awakens horror 
now, it ought to be in some truly sublime form. His strength 
is in his work ; and he must not give way to sudden humor, 
and fits of erratic fancy. If he does so, it imust be because his 
mind is naturally frivolous, or is for the time degraded into the 
deliberate pursuit of frivolity. |And herein lies the real dis- 
tinction between the base grotesque of Eaphael and the Ee- 
naissance, above alluded to, and the true Gothic grotesque. 
Those grotesques or arabesques of the Vatican, and other such 
work, which have become the patterns of ornamentation in 
modern times, are the fruit of great minds degraded to base 
objects. The care, skill, and science, applied to the distribu- 
tion of the leaves, and the drawing of the figures, are intense, 
admirable, and accurate ; therefore, they ought to have pro- 
duced a grand and serious work, not a tissue of nonsense. If 
we can draw the human head perfectly, and are masters of its 


expression and its beauty, we have no business to cut it off, and 
haiuj it up by the hair at the end of a garland. If we can draw 
the human body in the perfection of its grace and movement, 
we have no business to take away its limbs, and terminate it 
with Ji bunch of leaves. Or rather our doing so will imply 
that there is something wrong with us ; that, if we can consent 
to use our best powers for such base and vain trifling, there 
must be something wanting in the powers themselves ; and 
that, however skilful we may be, or however learned, we are 
wanting both in the earnestness which can apprehend a noble 
truth, and in the though tf ulness which can feel a noble fear. 
No Divine terror will ever be found in the work of the man 
who wastes a colossal strength in elaborating toys ; for the first 
lesson which that terror is sent to teach us, is the value of the 
human soul, and the shortness of mortal time. 

L. And are we never, then, it will be asked, to possess a 
refined or perfect ornamentation? Must all decoration be 
the work of the ignorant and the rude ? Not so ; but exactly 
in proportion as the ignorance and rudeness diminish, must the 
ornamentation become rational, and the grotesqueness disap- 
pear. The noblest lessons may be taught in ornamentation, 
the most solemn truths compressed into it. The Book of 
Genesis, in all the fulness of its incidents, in all the depth of 
its meaning, is bound within the leaf -borders of the gates of 
Ohiberti. But Eaphael's arabesque is mere elaborate idleness. 
It has neither meaning nor heart in it ; it is an unnatural and 
monstrous abortion. 

LI. Now, this passing of the grotesque into higher art, as 
the mind of the workman becomes informed with better know- 
ledge, and capable of more earnest exertion, takes place in two 
ways. Either, as his power increases, he devotes himself more 
and more to the beauty which he now feels himself able to ex- 
press, and so the grotesqueness expands, and softens into the 
beautiful, as in the above-named instance of the gates of Ghi- 
berti ; or else, if the mind of the workman be naturally inclined 
to gloomy contemplation, the imperfection or apathy of his 
work rises into nobler terribleness, until we reach the point of 


the grotesque of Albert Durer, where, every now and then, 
the playfulness or apathy of the painter passes into perfect 
sublime. Take the Adam and Eve, for instance. When he 
gave Adam a bough to hold, with a parrot on it, and a tablet 
hung to it, with " Albertus Durer Noricus faciebat, 1504," 
thereupon, his mind was not in Paradise. He was half in play, 
half apathetic with respect to his subject, thinking how to do 
his work well, as a wise master-graver, and how to receive his 
just reward of fame. But he rose into the true sublime in the 
head of Adam, and in the profound truthfulness of every crea- 
ture that fills the forest. So again in that magnificent coat of 
arms, with the lady and the satyr, as he cast the fluttering 
drapery hither and thither around the helmet, and wove the 
delicate crown upon the woman's forehead, he was in a kind of 
play ; but there is none in the dreadful skull upon the shield. 
And in the u Knight and Death," and in the dragons of the 
illustrations to the Apocalypse, there is neither play nor 
apathy ; but their grotesque is of the ghastly kind which best 
illustrates the nature of death and sin. And jMs_ leads- us_ to 
the consideration of the second state of mind out of which the 
noble grotesque is developed ; that is to say, the temper of 

LII. (B). Mockery, or Satire. In the former part of this 
chapter, when I spoke of the kinds of art which were produced 
in the recreation of the lower orders, I only spoke of forms of 
ornament, no* of the expression of satire or humor. But it 
seems probable, that nothing is so refreshing to the vulgar 
mind as some exercise of this faculty, more especially on the 
failings of their superiors ; and that, wherever the lower orders 
are allowed to express themselves freely, we shall find humor, 
more or less caustic, becoming a principal feature in their work. 
The classical and Renaissance manufacturers of modern times 
having silenced the independent language of the operative, his 
humor and satire pass away in the word-wit which has of late 
become the especial study of the group of authors headed by 
Charles Dickens ; all this power was formerly thrown into no- 
ble art, and became permanently expressed in the sculptures of 



the cathedral. It was never thought that there was anything 
discordant or improper in such a position : for the builders 
evidently felt very deeply a truth of which, in modern times, 
\ve are less cognizant ; that folly and sin are, to a certain ex- 
tent, synonymous, and that it would be well for mankind in 
-vnerul, if all could be made to feel that wickedness is as con- 
temptible as it is hateful. So that the vices were permitted to 
be represented under the most ridiculous forms, and all the 
coarsest wit of the workman to be exhausted in completing 
the degradation of the creatures supposed to be subjected to 

LIII. Nor were even the supernatural powers of evil exempt 
from this species of satire. For with whatever hatred or horror 
the evil angels were regarded, it was one of the conditions of 
Christianity that they should also be looked upon as vanquished ; 
and this not merely in their great combat with the King of 
Saints, but in daily and hourly combats with the weakest of 
His servants. In proportion to the narrowness of the powers 
of abstract conception in the workman, the nobleness of the 
idea of spiritual nature diminished, and the traditions of the 
encounters of men with iiends in daily temptations were im- 
agined with less terrific circumstances, until the agencies which 
in such warfare were almost always represented as vanquished 
with disgrace, became, at last, as much the objects of contempt 
as of terror. 

The superstitions which represented the devil as assuming 
various contemptible forms of disguises in order to accomplish 
his purposes aided this gradual degradation of conception, and 
directed the study of the workman to the most strange and 
ugly conditions of animal form, until at last, even in the most 
serious subjects, the fiends are oftener ludicrous than terrible. 
Nor, indeed, is this altogether avoidable, for it is not possible 
to express intense \\ickednesswithout some condition of deg- 
radation. Malice, subtlety, and pride, in their extreme, can- 
not be written upon noble forms; .and I am aware of no effort 
to represent the Satanic mind in the angelic form, which ha& 
succeeded in painting, l^jjjpn succeeds only because he sepa- 


rately describes the movements of the mind, and therefore 
leaves himself at liberty to make the form heroic ; but that 
form is never distinct enough to be painted. Dante, who will 
not leave even external forms obscure, degrades them before 
he can feel them to be demoniacal ; so also John Bunyan : both 
of them, I think, having firmer faith than Milton's in their 
own creations, and deeper insight into the nature of sin. Mil- 
ton makes his fi en fjajhoji noble., and misses thp frmlnpss^ incon- 
stancy, and fury of wickedness. His Satan possesses some vir- 
tues, not the less virtues for being applied to evil purpose. 
Courage, resolution, patience, deliberation in council, this lat- 
ter being eminently a wise and holy character, as opposed to 
the " Insania" of excessive sin : and all this, if not a shallow 
and false, is a smooth and artistical, conception. Oh the other 
hand, I have always felt that there was a peculiar grandeur in 
the indescribable, ungovernable fury of Dante's fiends, ever 
shortening its own powers, and disappointing its own purposes ; 
the deaf, blind, speechless, unspeakable rage, fierce as the light- 
ning, but erring from its mark or turning senselessly against 
itself, and still further debased by foulness of form and action. 
Something is indeed to be allowed for the rude feelings of the 
time, but I believe all such men as Dante are sent into the 
world at the time when they can do their work best ; and that, 
it being appointed for him to give to mankind the most vigor- 
ous realization possible both of Hell and Heaven, he was born 
both in the country and at the time which furnished the most 
stern opposition of Horror and Beauty, and permitted it to be 
written in the clearest terms. And, therefore, though there 
are passages in the " Inferno" which it would be impossible for 
any poet ntfw to write, I look upon it as all the more perfect 
for them. For there can be no question but that one charac- 
teristic of excessive vice is indecency, a general baseness in 
its thoughts and acts concerning the body,* and that the full 
portraiture of it cannot be given without marking, and that in 
the strongest lines, this tendency to corporeal degradation ; 

* Let the reader examine, with special reference to this subject, the gen- 
eral character of the language of lago. 


which, in the time of Dante, could be done frankly, but cannot 
now. And, therefore, I think the twenty-first and twenty- 
second books of the " Inferno" the most perfect portraitures 
of fiendish nature which we possess ; and at the same time, in 
their mingling of the extreme of horror (for it seems to me 
that the silent swiftness of the first demon, " con 1' ali aperte e 
sovra i pie leggiero/' cannot be surpassed in dreadfulness) with 
ludicrous actions and images, they present the most perfect in- 
stances with which I am acquainted of the terrible grotesque. 
But the whole of the " Inferno" is full of this grotesque, as 
well as the " Faerie Queen ;" and these two poems, together 
with the works of Albert Durer, will enable the reader to study 
it in its noblest forms, without reference to Gothic cathedrals. 

LIV. Now, just as there are base and noble conditions of 
the apathetic grotesque, so also are there of this satirical gro- 
tesque. The condition which might be mistaken for \t is that 
above described as resulting from the malice of men given to 
pleasure, and in which the grossness and foulness are in the 
workman as much as in his subject, so that he chooses to repre- 
sent vice and disease rather than virtue and beauty, having his 
chief delight in contemplating them ; though he still mocks at 
them with such dull wit as may be in him, because, as Young 
has said most truly, 

" Tis not in folly not to scorn a fool." 

LV. Now it is easy to distinguish this grotesque from its 
noble counterpart, by merely observing whether any forms of 
lu-aiity or dignity are mingled with it or not; for, of course, 
the noble grotesque is only employed by its master for good 
purposes, .-UK! to contrast with beauty: but the base workman 
cannot conceive anything but what is base; and there will be 
im loveliness in any part of his work, or, at the best, a loveli- 
ness iii.-asur.Ml by line and rule, and dependent on legal shapes 
of feature. But, without resorting to this test, and merely by 
examining tin- ugly grotesque itself, it will be found that, if it 
MMII-S to rlic base school, there will be, first, no Horror in it; 
secondly, no Nature in ir ; and, thirdly, no Mercy in it. 


LVI. I say, first, no Horror.- For the base soul has no 
fear of sin, and no hatred of it : and, however it may strive to 
make its work terrible, there will be no genuineness in the 
fear; the utmost it can do will be to make its work disgusting. 

Secondly, there will be no Nature in it. It appears to be 
one of the ends proposed by Providence in the appointment 
of the forms of the brute creation, that the various vices to 
which mankind are liable should be severally expressed in 
them so distinctly and clearly as that men could not but under- 
stand the lesson ; while yet these conditions of vice might, in 
the inferior animal, be observed without the disgust and hatred 
which the same vices would excite, if seen in men, and might 
be associated with features of interest which would otherwise 
attract and reward contemplation. Thus, ferocity, cunning, 
sloth, discontent, gluttony, uncleanness, and cruelty are seen, 
each in its extreme, in various animals ; and are so vigorously 
expressed, that when men desire to indicate the same vices in 
connexion with human forms, they can do itjio^better than 
by borrowing here 'and~there the"" features of animals. And i 
when the workman is thus led to the contemplation of the 
animal kingdom, finding therein the expressions of vice which 
he needs, associated with power, and nobleness, and freedom 
from disease, if his mind be of right tone he becomes inter- 
ested in this new study ; and all noble grotesque is, therefore, 
full of the most admirable rendering of animal character. But 
the ignoble workman is capable of no interest of this kind; 
and, being too dull to appreciate, and too idle to execute, the 
subtle and wonderful lines on which the expression of the 
lower animal depends, he contents himself with vulgar exag- 
geration, and leaves his work as false as it is monstrous, a mass 
of blunt malice and obscene ignorance. 

LVII. Lastly, there will be no Mercy in it. Where ver 
the satire of the noble grotesque fixes upon human nature, it 
does so with much sorrow mingled amidst its indignation : in 
its highest forms there is an infinite tenderness, like that of 
the fool in Lear; and even in its more^ieedless or bitter sar- 
casm, it never loses sight altogether of the better nature of 


what it attacks, nor refuses to acknowledge its redeeming or 
pardonable features. But the ignoble grotesque has no pity : 
it iv juices in iniquity, and exists only to slander. 

LVIII. I have not space to follow out the various forms of 
transition which exist between the two extremes of great 
and base in the satirical grotesque. The reader must always 
iv member, that, although there is an infinite distance between 
the best and worst, in this kind the interval is filled by endless 
conditions more or less inclining to the evil or the good ; im- 
purity and malice stealing gradually into the nobler forms, 
and invention and wit elevating the lower, according to the 
countless minglings of the elements of the human soul. / 

LIX. (c). 'Ungovemableness of the imagination. uTJie 
reader is always to keep in mind that if the objects of horror, 
in which the terrible grotesque finds its materials, were con- 
templated in their true light, and with the entire energy of 
the soul, they would cease to be grotesque, and become alto- 
gether sublime ; and that therefore it is some shortening of 
the power, or the will, of contemplation, and some conse- 
quent distortion of the terrible image in which the grotesque- 
ness consists. Now this distortion takes place, it was above 
asserted, in three ways : either through apathy, satire, or 
ungovernableness of imagination. It is this last cause of the 
grotesque which we have finally to consider ; namely, the 
error and wildness of the mental impressions, caused by fear 
operating upon strong powers of imagination, or by the failure 
of the 1 MI i naii faculties in the endeavor to grasp the highest 

LX. The grotesque which comes to all men in a disturbed 
dream is the most intelligible example of this kind, but also 
the most ignoble; the imagination, in this instance, being 
entirely deprived of all aid from reason, and incapable of self- 
government. I believe, however, that the noblest forms of 
imaginfttiye power are also in some sort ungovernable, and 
have in them something of the character of dreams ; so that 
the vision, of whatever kind, comes uncalled, and will not 
submit itself to the seer, but conquers him, and forces him to 


speak as a prophet, having no power over his words or 
thoughts.* Only, if the whole man be trained perfectly, and 
his mind calm, consistent and powerful, the vision which 
comes to him is seen as in a perfect mirror, serenely, and in 

* This opposition of art to inspiration is long and gracefully dwelt upon 
by Plato, in his "Phasdrus," using, in the course of his argument, almost 
the words of St Paul: uaXkiov /uaprvpovtiir oi Ttakaioi juariar 600- 
cppotivrqS rijv ku Qeov rrjS nap drdpooTtcar yiyvonevrjS: "It is the 
testimony of the ancients, that the madness which is of God is a nobler thing 
than the wisdom which is ofmen;" and again, "He who sets himself to any 
work with which the Muses have to do," (i. e. to any of the fine arts,) "with- 
out madness, thinking that by art alone he can do his work sufficiently, will 
be found vain and incapable, and the work of temperance and rationalism 
will be thrust aside and obscured by that of inspiration. " The passages to 
the same effect, relating especially to poetry, are innumerable in nearly all 
ancient writers ; but in this of Plato, the entire compass of the fine arts is 
intended to be embraced. 

No one acquainted with other parts of my writings will suppose me to 
be an advocate of idle trust in the imagination. But it is in these days just 
as necessary to allege the supremacy of genius as the necessity of labor; for 
there never was, perhaps, a period in which the peculiar gift of the painter 
was so little discerned, in which so many and so vain efforts have been 
made to replace it by study and toil. This has been peculiarly the case 
with the German school , and there are few exhibitions of human error 
more pitiable than the manner in which the inferior members of it, men 
originally and for ever destitute of the painting faculty, force themselves 
into an unnatural, encumbered, learned fructification of tasteless fruit, and 
pass laborious lives in setting obscurely and weakly upon canvas the 
philosophy, if such it be, which ten minutes' w r ork of a strong man would 
have put into healthy practice, or plain words I know not anything more 
melancholy than the sight of the huge German cartoon, with its objective 
side, and subjective side ; and mythological division, and symbolical divi- 
sion, and human and Divine division ; its allegorical sense, and literal 
sense ; and ideal point of view, and intellectual point of view ; its heroism 
of well-made armor and knitted brows its heroinism of graceful attitude 
and braided hair ; its inwoven web of sentiment, and piety, and phi- 
losophy, and anatomy, and history, all profound : and twenty innocent 
dashes of the hand of one God-made painter, poor old Bassan or Bonifazio, 
were worth it all, and worth it ten thousand times over 

Not that the sentiment or the philosophy is base in itself. They will 
make a good man, but they will not make a good painter, no, nor the mil- 
lionth part of a painter. They would have been good in the work and 
words of daily life ; but they are good for nothing in the cartoon, if they 
iire there alone. And the worst result of the system is the intense conceit 


consistence with the rational powers ; but if the mind be 
imperfect and ill trained, the vision is seen as in a broken 
mirror, with strange distortions and discrepancies, all the pas- 
sions of the heart breathing upon it in cross ripples, till hardly 
a trace of it remains unbroken. So that, strictly speaking, 
i | the imagination is never governed; it is always the ruling 
and Divine power: and the rest of the man is to it only as an 
instrument which it sounds, or a tablet on which it writes ; 
clearly and sublimely if the wax be smooth and the strings 
true, grotesquely and wildly if they are stained and broken. 
And thus the "Iliad," the "Inferno," the "Pilgrim's Pro- 
gress," the " Faerie Queen," are all of them time dreams ; 
only the sleep of the men to whom they came was the deep, 
living sleep which God sends, with a sacredness in it, as of 
death, the revealer of secrets. 

LXI. Now, observe in this matter, carefully, the difference 
between a dim mirror and a distorted one ; and do not blame 
me for pressing the analogy too far, for it will enable me to 
explain my meaning every way more clearly. Most men's 
minds are dim mirrors, in which all truth is seen, as St. Paul 
tells us. darkly : this is the fault most common and most fatal ; 
dulness of the heart and mistiness of sight, increasing to utter 
hardness and blindness; Satan breathing upon the glass, so 
that if we do not sweep the mist laboriously away, it will take 
no image. But, even so far as we are able to do this, we have 
still the distortion to fear, yet not to the same extent, for we 

into which it cultivates a weak mind. Nothing is so hopeless, so intoler- 
able, as the pride of a foolish man who has passed through a process of 
thinkinir. so as actually to have found something out. He believes there is 
nothing else to be found out in the universe. Whereas the truly great man, 
on whom the Revelations rain till they bear him to the earth with their 
weight, lays his head in the dust, and speaks thence often in broken 
-yllablev. Vanity is indeed a very equally divided inheritance among 
mankind ; but I think that among the first persons, no emphasis is alto- 
gether so strong as that on the German Ich. I was once introduced to a 
(lennaii philo-opher-painter before Tintoret's "Massacre of the Innocents." 
He looked at it Mipen-ilimisly. and said it "wanted to be restored." He 
had been him<i-lf several years employed in painting a "Faust" in a red 
jerkin and blue fire ; which made Tintoret appear somewhat dull to him. 


can in some sort allow for the distortion of an image, if only 
we can see it clearly. And the fallen human soul, at its best, 
must be as a diminishing glass, and that a broken one, to the 
mighty truths of the universe round it; and the wider the 
scope of its glance, and the vaster the truths into which it 
obtains an insight, the more fantastic their distortion is likely 
to be, as the winds and vapors trouble the field of the telescope 
most when it reaches farthest. 

LXII. Now, so far as the truth is seen by the imagination* 
in its wholeness and quietness, the vision is sublime ; but so- 
far as it is narrowed and broken by the inconsistencies of the 
human capacity, it becomes grotesque : and it would seem to- 
be rare that any very exalted truth should be impressed on the 
imagination without some grotesqueness in its aspect, propor- 
tioned to the degree of diminution of breadth in the grasp 
which is given of it. Nearly all the dreams recorded in the 
Bible, Jacob's, Joseph's, Pharaoh's, Nebuchadnezzar's, are 
grotesques ; and nearly the whole of the accessary scenery in 
the books of Ezekiel and the Apocalypse. Thus, Jacob's 
dream revealed to him the ministry of angels ; but because '' 
this ministry could not be seen or understood by him in its 
fulness, it was narrowed to him into a ladder between heaven 
and earth, which was a grotesque. Joseph's two dreams were 
evidently intended to be signs of the steadfastness of the 
Divine purpose towards him, by possessing the clearness of 
special prophecy ; yet w r ere couched in such imagery, as not 
to inform him prematurely of his destiny, and only to be 
understood after their fulfilment. The sun, and moon, and 
stars were at the period, and are indeed throughout the Bible, 
the symbols of high authority. It was not revealed to Joseph 
that he should be lord over all Egypt ; but the representation 
of his family by symbols of the most magnificent dominion,, 
and yet as subject to him, must have been afterwards felt by 
him as a distinctly prophetic indication of his own supreme 
power. It was not revealed to him that the occasion of his 

* I have before stated ("Modern Painters" vol. ii.) that the first func- 
tion of the imagination is the apprehension of ultimate truth. 


brethren's special humiliation before him should be their com- 
ing to buy corn ; but when the event took place, must he not 
have felt that there was prophetic purpose in the form of the 
sheaves of wheat which first imaged forth their subjection to 
him ? And these two images of the sun doing obeisance, and 
the sheaves bowing down, narrowed and imperfect intima- 
tions of great truth which yet could not be otherwise con- 
V( . vcd, are both grotesque. The kine of Pharaoh eating 
each other, the gold and clay of Nebuchadnezzar's image, the 
four beasts full of eyes, and other imagery of Ezekiel and the 
Apocalypse, are grotesques of the same kind, on which I need 
not further insist. 

LXIII. Such forms, however, ought perhaps to have been 
arranged under a separate head, as Symbolical Grotesque ; but 
the element of awe enters into them so strongly, as to justify, 
for all our present purposes, their being classed with the other 
varieties of terrible grotesque. For even if the symbolic 
vision itself be not terrible, the sense of what may be veiled 
behind it becomes all the more awful in proportion to the 
insignificance or strangeness of the sign itself; and, I believe, 
this tin-ill of mingled doubt, fear, and curiosity lies at the very 
root of the delight which mankind take in symbolism. It was 
not an accidental necessity for the conveyance of truth by 
pictures instead of words, which led to its universal adoption 
wherever art was on the advance; but the Divine fear which 
necessarily follows on the understanding that a thing is other 
and greater than it seems; and which, it appears probable, 
lias been rendered peculiarly attractive to the human heart, 
U'c.uise God would havens understand that this is true not 
<f invented symbols merely, but of all things amidst which 
we live ; that there is a deeper meaning within them than eye 
hath seen, or car hath heard ; and that the whole visible crea- 
tinn is a mere perishable symbol of things eternal and true. 
It cannot but have been sometimes a subject of wonder with 
thoughtful men, how fondly, age after age, the Church has 
cherished the belief that the four living creatures which sur- 
rounded the Apocalyptic throne were symbols of the four 


Evangelists, and rejoiced to use those forms in its picture- 
teaching; that a calf, a lion, an eagle, and a beast with a 
man's face, should in all ages have been preferred by the 
Christian world, as expressive of Evangelistic power and in- 
spiration, to the majesty of human forms; and that quaint 
grotesques, awkward and often ludicrous caricatures even of 
the animals represented, should have been regarded by all men, 
not only with contentment, but with awe, and have superseded 
all endeavors to represent the characters and persons of the 
Evangelistic writers themselves (except in a few instances, 
confined principally to works undertaken without a definite 
religious purpose) ; this, I say, might appear more than 
strange to us, were it not that we ourselves share the awe, 
and are still satisfied with the symbol, and that justly. For, 
whether we are conscious of it or not, there is in our hearts, 
as we gaze upon the brutal forms that have so holy a signifi- 
cation, an acknowledgment that it was not Matthew, nor 
Mark, nor Luke, nor John, in whom the Gospel of Christ 
was unsealed : but that the invisible things of Him from the 
beginning of the creation are clearly seen, being understood 
by the things that are made ; that the whole world, and all 
that is therein, be it low or high, great or small, is a continual 
Gospel ; and that as the heathen, in their alienation from God, 
changed His glory into an image made like unto corruptible 
man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, the Christian, in his 
approach to God, is to undo this work, and to change the cor- 
ruptible things into the image of His glory ; believing that^ 
there is nothing so base in creation, but that ourjaith^ may \ 
give it wings which shall raise us into companionship with / 
heaven ; and that, on the other hand, there is nothing so great 
or so goodly in creation, but that it is a mean symbol of the 
Gospel of Christ, and of the things He has prepared for them 
that love Him. 

LXIV. And it is easy to understand, if we follow out this 
thought, how, when once the symbolic language was familiar- 
ized to the mind, and its solemnity felt in all its fulness, there 
was no likelihood of offence being taken at any repulsive or 

l,-,(j THIKI) PERIOD. 

feeble characters in execution or conception. There was no 
form so mean, no incident so commonplace, but, if regarded 
in this light, it might become sublime ; the more vigorous the 
fancy and the more faithful the enthusiasm, the greater would 
In- the likelihood of their delighting in the contemplation of 
.-vmbols whose mystery was enhanced by apparent insignifi- 
cance, or in which the sanctity and majesty of meaning were 
contrasted with the utmost uncouthness of external form : nor 
with uncoutlmess merely, but even with every appearance of 
malignity or baseness; the beholder not being revolted even 
lv this, but comprehending that, as the seeming evil in the 
framework of creation did not invalidate its Divine author- 
ship, so neither did the evil or imperfection in the symbol 
invalidate its Divine message. And thus, sometimes, the 
designer at last became wanton in his appeal to the piety of 
his interpreter, and recklessly poured out the impurity and 
the savagenessof his own heart, for the mere pleasure of seeing 
them overlaid with the line gold of the sanctuary, by the reli- 
gion of their beholder. 

i. xv. It is not, however, in every symbolical subject that 
the fearful grotesque becomes embodied to the full. The 
clement of distortion which affects the intellect when dealing 
witli subjects above its proper capacity, is as nothing compared 
with that which it sustains from the direct impressions of 
terror, j It is the trembling of the human soul in the presence 
of death which most of all disturbs the images on the intellec- 
tual mirror, and invests them with the h'tfulness and ghastli- 
ness of dreams. And from the contemplation of death, and 
<>f the pangs which follow his footsteps, arise in men's hearts 
the troop of strange and irresistible superstitions which, more 
<>r less melancholy or majestic according to the dignity of the 
mind they impress, are yet never without a certain grotesque- 
ness, following on the paralysis of the reason and over-excite- 
ment of the fancy. I do not mean to deny the actual exist- 
ence of spiritual manifestations; I have never weighed the 
evidence upon the subject ; but with these, if such exist, we 
arc not here concerned. The grotesque which we are examin- 


ing arises out of that condition of mind which appears to fol- 
low naturally upon the contemplation of death, and in which 
the fancy is brought into morbid action by terror, accom- 
pained by the belief in spiritual presence, and in the possibility 
of spiritual apparition. Hence are developed its most sublime, 
because its least voluntary, creations, aided by the fearfulness of 
the phenomena of nature which are in any wise the ministers 
of death, and primarily directed by the peculiar ghastliness of 
expression in the skeleton, itself a species of terrible grotesque 
in its relation to the perfect human frame. 

LXVI. Thus, first born from the dusty and dreadful white- 
ness of the charnel house, but softened in their forms by the 
holiest of human aifections, went forth the troop of wild and 
wonderful images, seen through tears, that had the mastery 
over our Northern hearts for so many ages. The powers of 
sudden destruction lurking in the woods and waters, in the 
rocks and clouds; kelpie and gnome, Lurlei and Hartz 
spirits; the wraith and foreboding phantom; the spectra of 
second sight ; the various conceptions of avenging or tor- 
mented ghost, haunting the perpetrator of crime, or expiating 
its commission ; and the half fictitious and contemplative, half 
visionary and believed images of the presence of death itself, 
doing its daily work in the chambers of sickness and sin, and 
waiting for its hour in the fortalices of strength and the high 
places of pleasure ; these, partly degrading us by the instinc- 
tive and paralyzing terror with which they are attended, and 
partly ennobling us by leading our thoughts to dwell in the 
eternal world, fill the last and the most important circle in 
that great kingdom of dark and distorted power, of which we all 
must be in some sort the subjects until mortality shall be swal- 
lowed up of life ; until the waters of the last f ordless river 
<?ease to roll their untransparent volume between us and the 
light of heaven, and neither death stand between us and our 
brethren, nor symbols between us and our God. 

LXVII. We have now, I believe, obtained a view ap- 
proaching to completeness of the various branches of human 
feeling which are concerned in the developement of this pecu- 


liar form of art. It remains for us only to note, as briefly as 
possible, what facts in the actual history of the grotesque bear 
upon <ur immediate subject 

From what we have seen to be its nature, we must, I think, 
IK- led to one most important conclusion; that wherever the 
human mind is healthy and vigorous in all its proportions, 
irreat in imagination and emotion no less than in intellect, and 
not overborne by an undue or hardened preeminence of the 
mere reasoning faculties, there the grotesque will exist in full 
I energy. And, accordingly, I believe that there is no test of 
irreatness in periods, nations, or men, more sure than the 
developement, among them or in them, of a noble grotesque, 
;md no test of comparative smallness or limitation, of one kind 
or another, more sure than the absence of grotesque invention, 
or incapability of understanding it. I think that the central 
man of ah 1 the world, as representing in perfect balance the 
imaginative, moral, and intellectual faculties, all at their 
highest, is Dante; and in him the grotesque reaches at once 
the most distinct and the most noble developement to which it 
was ever brought in the human mind. The two other greatest 
men whom Italy has produced, Michael Angelo and Tintoret, 
show the same element in no less original strength, but op- 
pressed in the one by his science, and in both by the spirit of 
the age in which they lived ; never, however, absent even in 
Michael Angelo, but stealing forth continually in a strange 
and spectral way, lurking in folds of raiment and knots of 
wild hair, and mountainous confusions of craggy limb and 
cloudy drapery ; and, in Tintoret, ruling the entire conceptions 
of his greatest works to such a degree that they are an 
enigma or an offence, even to this day, to all the petty disci- 
ples of a formal criticism. Of the grotesque in our own 
Shakspeare I need hardly speak, nor of its intolerableness to 
his French critics; nor of that of ^Eschylus and Homer, as 
opposed to the lower Greek writers ; and so I believe it will 
l>e found, at all periods, in all minds of the first order. 

LXVIII. As an index of the greatness of nations, it is a less 
certain test, or, rather, we are not so well agreed on the mean- 


ing of the term " greatness" respecting them. A nation may 
produce a great effect, and take up a high place in the world's 
history, by the temporary enthusiasm or fury of its multitudes, 
without being truly great ; or, on the other hand, the disci- 
pline of morality and common sense may extend its physical 
power or exalt its well-being, while yet its creative and 
imaginative powers are continually diminishing. And again : 
a people may take so definite a lead over all the rest of the 
world in one direction, as to obtain a respect which is not 
justly due to them if judged on universal grounds. Thus the 
Greeks perfected the sculpture of the human body; threw 
their literature into a disciplined form, which has given it a 
peculiar power over certain conditions of modern mind ; and 
were the most carefully educated race that the world has seen ; 
but a few years hence, I believe, we shall no longer think 
them a greater people than either the Egyptians or Assyrians. 

LXIX. If, then, ridding ourselves as far as possible of pre- 
judices owing merely to the school-teaching which remains 
from the system of the Renaissance, we set ourselves to dis- 
cover in what races the human soul, taken all in all, reached 
its highest magnificence, we shall find, I believe, two great 
families of men, one of the East and South, the other of the 
West and North: the one including the Egyptians, Jews, 
Arabians, Assyrians, and Persians ; the other, I know not 
whence derived, but seeming to flow forth from Scandinavia, 
and filling the whole of Europe with its Norman and Gothic 
energy. And in both these families, wherever they are seen 
in their utmost nobleness, there the grotesque is developed in 
its utmost energy ; and I hardly know whether most to admire 
the winged bulls of Nineveh, or the winged dragons of 

LXX. The reader who has not before turned his attention 
to this subject may, however, at first have some difficulty in 
distinguishing between the noble grotesque of these great 
nations, and the barbarous grotesque of mere savages, as seen 
in the work of the Hindoo and other Indian nations ; .or, more 
grossly still, in that of the complete savage of the Pacific 


islands ; or if, as is to be hoped, lie instinctively feels the dif- 
ference, he may yet find difficulty in determining wherein 
that difference consists. But he will discover, on considera- 
tion, that the noble grotesque involves the true appreciation 
ofleauty, though the mind may wilfully turn to other images 
or the hand resolutely stop short of the perfection which it 
must fail, if it endeavored, to reach; while the grotesque of 
the Sandwich islander involves no perception or imagination 
of anything above itself. He will find that in the exact pro- 
portion in which the grotesque results from an incapability of 
perceiving beauty, it becomes savage or barbarous ; and that 
there are many stages of progress to be found in it even in its 
best times, much truly savage grotesque occurring in the fine 
(Jothic periods, mingled with the other forms of the ignoble 
grotesque resulting from vicious inclinations or base sportive- 
ness. Nothing is more mysterious in the history of the human 
. mind, than the manner in which gross and ludicrous images 
a iv mingled with the most solemn subjects in the work of 
the middle ages, whether of sculpture or illumination ; and 
although, in great part, such incongruities are to be accounted 
for on the various principles which I have above endeavored 
to define, in many instances they are clearly the result of vice 
and sensuality. The general greatness of seriousness of an 
aire does not effect the restoration of human nature; and it 
would be strange, if, in the midst of the art even of the best 
periods, when that art was entrusted to myriads of workmen, 
we found no manifestations of impiety, folly, or impurity. 

jj i. xxi. It needs only to be added that in the noble grotesque, 
as it is partly the result of a morbid state of the imaginative 
power, that power itself will be always seen in a high degree ; 
an<i that therefore our power of judging of the rank of a 
grotesque work will depend on the degree in which we are 
in general sensible of the presence of invention. The reader 
may partly test this power in himself by referring to the 
Plate given in the opening of this chapter, in which, on the 
lett, is a piece of noble and inventive grotesque, a head of the 
lion-symbol of St. Mark, from the Veronese Gothic; the other 



is a head introduced as a boss on the foundation of the Palazzo 
Corner della Eegina at Venice, utterly devoid of invention, 
made merely monstrous by exaggerations of the eyeballs and 
cheeks, and generally characteristic of that late Renaissance 
grotesque of Venice, with which we are at present more im- 
mediately concerned.* 

LXXII. The developement of that grotesque took place 
under different laws from those which regulate it in any other 
European city. For, great as we have seen the Byzantine 
mind show itself to be in other directions, it was marked as 
that of a declining nation by the absence of the grotesque ele- 
ment ; and, owing to its influence, the early Venetian Gothic 
remained inferior to all other schools in this particular charac- 
ter. Nothing can well be more wonderful than its instant 
failure in any attempt at the representation of ludicrous or 
fearful images, more especially when it is compared with the 
magnificent grotesque of the neighboring city of Verona, in 
which the Lombard influence had full sway. Nor was it until 
the last links of connexion with Constantinople had been dis- 
solved, that the strength of the Venetian mind could manifest 
itself in this direction. But it had then a new enemy to 
encounter. The Renaissance laws altogether checked its imag- 
ination in architecture ; and it could only obtain permission 
to express itself by starting forth in the work of the Venetian 
painters, filling them with monkeys and dwarfs, even amidst 
the most serious subjects, and leading Veronese and Tintoret 
to the most unexpected and wild fantasies of form and color. 

LXXIII. We may be deeply thankful for this peculiar re- 

* Note especially, in connexion with what was advanced in Vol. II. 
respecting our English neatness of execution, how the base workman has 
cut the lines of the architecture neatly and precisely round the abominable 
head: but the noble workman has used his chisel like a painter's pencil, 
and sketched the glory with a few irregular lines, anything rather than 
circular; and struck out the whole head in the same frank and fearless way, 
leaving the sharp edges of the stone as they first broke, and flinging back 
the crest of hair from the forehead with half a dozen hammer-strokes, 
while the poor wretch who did the other was half a day in smoothing its 
vapid and vermicular curls. 


serve of the Gothic grotesque character to the last days of 
Venice. All over the rest of Europe it had been strongest in 
the days of imperfect art ; magnificently powerful throughout 
the whole of the thirteenth century, tamed gradually in the 
fourteenth and fifteenth, and expiring in the sixteenth amidst 
anatomy and laws of art. But at Yenice, it had not been re- 
^ ceived when it was elsewhere in triumph, and it fled to the 
lagoons for shelter when elsewhere it was oppressed. And it 
was arrayed by the Venetian painters in robes of state, and 
advanced by them to such honor as it had never received in its 
days of widest dominion ; while, in return, it bestowed upon 
their pictures that fulness, piquancy, decision of parts, and 
mosaic-like intermingling of fancies, alternately brilliant and 
sublime, which were exactly what was most needed for the de- 
velopement of their unapproachable color-power. 

LXXIV. Yet, observe, it by no means follows that because 
the grotesque does not appear in the art of a nation, the sense 
^ 'IS of it does not exist in the national mind. Except in the form 
of caricature, it is hardly traceable in the English work of the 
present day ; but the minds of our workmen are full of it, if 
we would only allow them to give it shape. They express it 
^. daily in gesture and gibe, but are not allowed to do so where 
/r it would be useful. In like manner, though the Byzantine 
influence repressed it in the early Venetian architecture, it was 
always present in the Venetian mind, and showed itself in 
various forms of national custom and festival ; acted grotesques, 
full of wit, feeling, and good-humor. The ceremony of the 
hat and the orange, described in the beginning of this chapter, 
is one instance out of multitudes. Another, more rude, and 
exceedingly characteristic, was that instituted in the twelfth 
century in memorial of the submission of Woldaric, the patri- 
arch of Aquileia, who, having taken up arms against the 
patriarch of Grado, and being defeated and taken prisoner by the 
Venetians, was sentenced, not to death, but to send every year 
on "Fat Thursday" sixty-two large loaves, twelve fat pigs, and 
a bull, to the Doge ; the bull being understood to represent the 
patriarch, and the twelve pigs his clergy : and the ceremonies 


of the day consisting in the decapitation of these representa- 
tives, and a distribution of their joints among the senators ; 
together with a symbolic record of the attack upon Aquileia, 
by the erection of a wooden castle in the rooms of the Ducal 
Palace, which the Doge and the Senate attacked and demol- 
ished with clubs. As long as the Doge and the Senate were 
truly kingly and noble, they were content to let this ceremony 
be continued ; but when they became proud and selfish, and 
were destroying both themselves and the state by their luxury, 
they found it inconsistent with their dignity, and it was abol- 
ished, as far as the Senate was concerned, in 1549.* 

LXXV. By these and other similar manifestations, the gro- 
tesque spirit is traceable through all the strength of the Yene- 

tian people. But again : it is necessary that we should carefully 
distinguish between it and the spirit of meroJejii^ I said, 
in the fifth chapter, that the Venetians were distinctively a 
serious people, serious, that is to say, in the sense in which the 
English are a more serious people than the French ; though 
the habitual intercourse of our lower classes in London has a 
tone of humor in it which I believe is untraceable in that of 
the Parisian populace. It is one thing to indulge in playful " 

rest, and another to be devoted to the pursuit of pleasure : and 

gaiety of heart during the reaction after hard labor, and quick- 
ened by satisfaction in the accomplished duty or perfected 
result, is altogether compatible with, nay, even in some sort 
arises naturally out of, a deep internal seriousness of disposi- 
tion ; this latter being exactly the condition of mind which, 

as we have seen, leads to the richest developements of the play f 

ful grotesque ; while, on the contrary, the continual pursuit of 
pleasure deprives the soul of all alacrity and elasticity, and^ 
leaves it incapable of happy jesting, capable only of that which 
is bitter, base, and foolish. Thus, throughout the whole of the 
early career of the Venetians, though there is much jesting, 
there is no levity ; on the contrary there is an intense earnest- 
ness both in their pursuit of commercial and political successes, 

* The decree is quoted by Mutinelli, lib. i. p. 46. 



mid in their devotion to religion,* which led gradually to the 
formation of that highly wrought mingling of immovable reso- 
lution with secret thoughtfulness, which so strangely, some- 
riniL'S so darkly, distinguishes the Venetian character at the 
time of their highest power, when the seriousness was left, but 
the conscientiousness destroyed. And if there be any one sign 
by which the Venetian countenance, as it is recorded for us, to 
the very life, by a school of portraiture which has never been 
Dualled (chiefly because no portraiture ever had subjects so 
noble), I say, if there be one thing more notable than another 
in the Venetian features, it is this deep pensiveness and solem- 
nity. In other districts of Italy, the dignity of the heads 
which occur in the most celebrated compositions is clearly 
owing to the feeling of the painter. He has visibly raised or 
idealized his models, and appears always to be veiling the faults 
or failings of the human nature around him, so that the best 
-of his work is that which has most perfectly taken the color of 
fhis own mind ; and the least impressive, if not the least valua- 
ble, that which appears to have been unaffected and unmodified 
portraiture. But at Venice, all is exactly the reverse of this. 
The tone of mind in the painter appears often in some degree 
frivolous or sensual ; delighting in costume, in domestic and 
rrotrsijue incident, and in studies of the naked form. But 
tin- moment he gives himself definitely to portraiture, all is 
noble and grave ; the more literally true his work, the more 
majestic ; and the same artist who will produce little beyond 
what is commonplace in painting a Madonna or an apostle, will 
rise into unapproachable sublimity when his subject is a mem- 
ber of the Forty, or a Master of the Mint. 

Such, then, were the general tone and progress of the 
Venetian mind, up to the close of the seventeenth century. 
First, serious, religious, and sincere ; then, though serious still, 
comparatively deprived of conscientiousness, and apt to decline 
into stern and subtle policy : in the first case, the spirit of the 
noble grotesque not showing itself in art at all, but only in 

* See Appendix 9. 


speech and action; in the second case, developing itself in 
painting, through accessories and vivacities of composition, 
while perfect dignity was always preserved in portraiture. A 
third phase rapidly developed itself. 

LXXVI. Once more, and for the last time, let me refer the 
reader to the important epoch of the death of the Doge 
Tomaso Mocenigo in 1423, long ago indicated as the commence- 
ment of the decline of the Venetian power. That commence- 
ment is marked, not merely by the words of the dying Prince, 
but by a great and clearly legible sign. It is recorded, that 
on the accession of his successor, Foscari, to the throne, " Si 


festival for a whole year." Venice had in her childhood sown, 
in tears, the harvest she was to reap in rejoicing. She now 
sowed in laughter the seeds of death. 

Thenceforward, year after year, the nation drank with 
deeper thirst from the fountains of forbidden pleasure, 
dug for springs, hitherto unknown, in the dark places of the **"" 
earth. In the ingenuity of indulgence, in the varieties of 
vanity, Venice surpassed the cities of Christendom, as of old 
she surpassed them in fortitude and devotion ; and as once the 
powers of Europe stood before her judgment-seat, to receive 
the decisions of her justice, so now the youth of Europe assem- 
bled in the halls of her luxury, to learn from her the arts of 

It is as needless, as it is painful, to trace the steps of her 
final ruin. That ancient curse was upon her, the curse of the 
cities of the plain, " Pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of 
idleness." By the inner burning of her own passions, as fatal 
as the fiery reign of Gomorrah, she was consumed from her 
place among the nations ; and her ashes are choking the chan- 
nels of the dead salt sea. 



i. I FEAR this chapter will be a rambling one, for it must 
be a kind of supplement to the preceding pages, and a general 
recapitulation of the things I have too imperfectly and feebly 

The grotesques of the seventeenth and eighteenth centu- 
ries, the nature of which we examined in the last chapter, close 
the career of the architecture of Europe. They were the last 
evidences of any feeling consistent with itself, and capable of 
directing the efforts of the builder to the formation of anything 
worthy the name of a style or school. From that time to this, 
no resuscitation of energy has taken place, nor does any for the 
present appear possible. How long this impossibility may last, 
and in what direction with regard to art in general, as well as 
to our lifeless architecture, our immediate efforts may most 
profitably be directed, are the questions I would endeavor 
briefly to consider in the present chapter. 

n. That modern science, with all its additions to the com- 
forts of life, and to the fields of rational contemplation, has 
placed the existing races of mankind on a higher platform than 
any that preceded them, none can doubt for an instant ; and I 
believe the position in which we find ourselves is somewhat 
analogous to that of thoughtful and laborious youth succeeding 
a restless and heedless infancy. ISTot long ago, it was said to 
me by one of the masters of modern science : " When men in- 
vented the locomotive, the child was learning to go ; when 
they invented the telegraph, it was learning to speak." He 
looked forward to the manhood of mankind, as assuredly the 
nobler in proportion to the slowness of its developement. What 


might not be expected from the prime and middle strength of 
the order of existence whose infancy had lasted six thousand 
years ? And, indeed, I think this the truest, as well as the 
most cheering, view that we can take of the world's history. 
Little progress has been made as yet. Base war, lying policy, 
thoughtless cruelty, senseless improvidence, all things which, 
in nations, are analogous to the petulance, cunning, impatience, 
and carelessness of infancy, have been, up to this hour, as 
characteristic of mankind as they were in the earliest periods ; 
so that we must either be driven to doubt of human progress 
at all, or look upon it as in its very earliest stage. Whether 
the opportunity is to be permitted us to redeem the hours that 
we have lost ; whether He, in whose sight a thousand years 
are as one day, has appointed us to be tried by the continued 
possession of the strange powers with which He has lately en- 
dowed us ; or whether the periods of childhood and of proba- 
tion are to cease together, and the youth of mankind is to be 
one which shall prevail over death, and bloom for ever in the 
midst of a new heaven and a new earth, are questions with 
which we have no concern. It is indeed right that we should 
look for, and hasten, so far as in us lies, the coming of the Day 
of God ; but not that we should check any human efforts by 
anticipations of its approach. We shall hasten it best by en- 
deavoring to work out the tasks that are appointed for us here ; 
and, therefore, reasoning as if the world were to continue un- 
der its existing dispensation, and the powers which have just 
been granted to us were to be continued through myriads of 
future ages. 

in. It seems to me, then, that the whole human race, so 
far as their own reason can be trusted, may at present be re- 
garded as just emergent from childhood ; and beginning for 
the first time to feel their strength, to stretch their limbs, and 
explore the creation around them. If we consider that, till 
within the last fifty years, the nature of the ground we tread 
on, of the air we breathe, and of the light by which we see, 
were not so much as conjecturally conceived by us ; that the 
duration of the globe, and the races of animal life by which it 


inhabited, are just beginning to be apprehended; and that 
the scope of the magnificent science which has revealed them, 
is as yet so little received by the public mind, that presumption 
and ignorance are still permitted to raise their voices against it 
unrebuked ; that perfect veracity in the representation of gen- 
eral nature by art has never been attempted until the present 
<lav, and has in the present day been resisted with all the en- 
ergy of the popular voice ;* that the simplest problems of so- 
cial science are yet so little understood, as that doctrines of 
liberty and equality can be openly preached, and so successfully 
as to affect the whole body of the civilized world with appar- 
ently incurable disease ; that the first principles of commerce 
were acknowledged by the English Parliament only a few 
months ago, in its free trade measures, and are still so little 
understood by the million, that no nation dares to abolish its 
custom-houses ; f that the simplest principles of policy are still 
not so much as stated, far less received, and that civilized na- 
tions persist in the belief that the subtlety and dishonesty which 
they know to be ruinous in dealings between man and man, are 
serviceable in dealings between multitude and multitude; fi- 
nally, that the scope of the Christian religion, which we have 
been taught for two thousand years, is still so little conceived 
by us, that we suppose the laws of charity and of self-sacrifice 
bear upon individuals in all their social relations, and yet do 
not bear upon nations in any of their political relations ; when, 
I say, we thus review the depth of simplicity in which the hu- 

* In the works of Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites. 

f Observe, I speak of these various principles as self-evident, only under 
the present circumstances of the world, not as if they had always been so; 
and I call them now self-evident, not merely because they seem so to my- 
self, but because they are felt to be so likewise by all the men in whom I 
place most trust. But granting that they are not so, then their very dis- 
putiibility proves the state of infancy above alleged, as characteristic of the 
world. For I do not suppose ihat any Christian reader will doubt the first 
-rent truth, that whatever facts or laws are important to mankind, God has 
made asceriainable by mankind; and that as the decision of all these ques- 
tions i> if vital importance to the race, that decision must have been long 
ago arrived at, unless they were still in a state of childhood. 


man race are still plunged with respect to all that it most pro- 
foundly concerns them to know, and which might, by them, 
with most ease have been ascertained, we can hardly determine 
how far back on the narrow path of human progress we ought 
to place the generation to which we belong, how far the swad- 
dling clothes are unwound from us, and childish things begin- 
ning to be put away. 

On the other hand, a power of obtaining veracity in the 
representation of material and tangible things, which, within 
certain limits and conditions, is unimpeachable, has now been 
placed in the hands of all men,* almost without labor. The 
foundation of every natural science is now at last firmly laid, 
not a day passing without some addition of buttress and pinna- 
cle to their already magnificent fabric. Social theorems, if 
fiercely agitated, are therefore the more likely to be at last de- 
termined, so that they never can be matters of question more. 
Human life has been in some sense prolonged by the increased 
powers of locomotion, and an almost limitless power of con- 
verse. Finally, there is hardly any serious mind in Europe but 
is occupied, more or less, in the investigation of the questions 
which have so long paralyzed the strength of religious feeling, 
and shortened the dominion of religious faith. And we may 
therefore at least look upon ourselves as so far in a definite 
state of progress, as to justify our caution in guarding against 
the dangers incident to every period of change, and especially 
to that from childhood into youth. 

iv. Those dangers appear, in the main, to be twofold ;. 
consisting partly in the pride of vain knowledge, partly in the 
pursuit of vain pleasure. A few points are still to be noticed 
with respect to each of these heads. 

* I intended to have given a sketch in this place (above referred to) of 
the probable results of the daguerreotype and calotype within the next few 
years, in modifying the application of the engraver's art, but I have not 
had time to complete the experiments necessary to enable me to speak with 
certainty. Of one thing, however, I have little doubt, that an infinite ser- 
vice w T ill soon be done to a large body of our engravers; namely, the mak- 
ing them draughtsmen (in black and white) on paper instead of steel. 


Enough, it might be thought, had been said already, touch- 
ing the pride of knowledge ; but I have not yet applied the 
principles, at which we arrived in the third chapter, to the 
practical questions of modern art. And I think those princi- 
ples, together with what were deduced from the consideration 
of the nature of Gothic in the second volume, so necessary and 
vital, not only with respect to the progress of art, but even to 
the happiness of society, that I will rather run the risk of 
tediousness than of deficiency, in their illustration and en- 

In examining the nature of Gothic, we concluded that one 
of the chief elements of power in that, and in all good archi- 
tecture, was the acceptance of uncultivated and rude energy in 
the workman. In examining the nature of Renaissance, we 
concluded that its chief element of weakness was that pride of 
knowledge which not only prevented all rudeness in expression, 
but gradually quenched all energy which could only be rudely 
expressed ; nor only so, but, for the motive and matter of the 
work itself, preferred science to emotion, and experience to 

v. The modern mind differs from the Renaissance mind 
in that its learning is more substantial and extended, and its 
temper more humble ; but its errors, with respect to the culti- 
vation of art, are precisely the same, nay, as far as regards 
execution, even more aggravated. We require, at present, 
from our general workmen, more perfect finish than was de- 
manded in the most skilful Renaissance periods, except in their 
very finest productions ; and our leading principles in teaching, 
and in the patronage which necessarily gives tone to teaching, 
are, that the goodness of work consists primarily in firmness of 
handling and accuracy of science, that is to say, in hand-work 
and head-work ; whereas heart-work, which is the one work we 
want, is not only independent of both, but often, in great de- 
gree, inconsistent with either. 

vi. Here, therefore, let me finally and firmly enunciate 
the grea^ principle to which all that has hitherto been stated is 
subservient : that art is valuable or otherwise, only as it ex- 


presses the personality, activity, and living perception of a good 
and great human soul ; that it may express and contain this 
with little help from execution, and less from science ; and that 
if it have not this, if it show not the vigor, perception, and in- 
vention of a mighty human spirit, it is worthless. Worthless, 
I mean, as art / it may be precious in some other way, but, as 
art, it is nugatory. Once let this be well understood among us, 
and magnificent consequences will soon follow. Let me repeat 
it in other terms, so that I may not be misunderstood. All art / 
is great, and good, and true, only so far as it is distinctively the 
work of manhood in its entire and highest sense ; that is to say, 
not the work of limbs and fingers, but of the soul, aided, ac- 
cording to her necessities, by the inferior powers ; and there- 
fore distinguished in essence from all products of those inferior 
powers unhelped by the soul. For as a photograph is not a 
work of art, though it requires certain delicate manipulations 
of paper and acid, and subtle calculations of time, in order to 
bring out a good result ; so, neither would a drawing like a 
photograph, made directly from nature, be a work of art, al- 
though it would imply many delicate manipulations of the pen- 
cil and subtle calculations of effects of color and shade. It is 
no more art* to manipulate a camel's hair pencil, than to ma- 
nipulate a china tray and a glass vial. It is no more art to lay 
on color delicately, than to lay on acid delicately. It is no 
more art to use the cornea and retina for the reception of an 
image, than to use a lens and a piece of silvered paper. But 
the moment that inner part of the man, or rather that entire 
and only being of the -man, of which cornea and retina, fingers \ 
and hands, pencils and colors, are all the mere servants and in- 
struments ; f that manhood which has light in itself, though the 

* I mean art in its highest sense. All that men do ingeniously is art, in 
one sense. In fact, we want a definition of the word "art" much more 
accurate than any in our minds at present. For, strictly speaking, there is 
no such thing as "fine" or " high" art. All art is a low and common thing, 
and what we indeed respect is not art at all, but instinct or inspiration ex- 
pressed by the help of art. 

f "Socrates. This, then, was what I asked you; whether that which 


eyeball be sightless, and can gain in strength when the hand 
and the foot are hewn off and cast into the fire ; the moment 
this part of the man stands forth with its solemn u Behold, it is 
I," then the work becomes art indeed, perfect in honor, price- 
less in value, boundless in power. 

vn. Yet observe, I do not mean to speak of the body and 
/ soul as separable. The man is made up of both : they are to 
; be raised and glorified together, and all art is an expression of 
i the one, by and through the other. All that I would insist 
upon is, the necessity of the whole man being in his work ; the 
body must be in it. Hands and habits must be in it, whether 
we will or not ; but the nobler part of the man may often not 
be in it. And that nobler part acts principally in love, rever- 
i ence, and admiration, together with those conditions of thought 
which arise out of them. For we usually fall into much error 
by considering the intellectual powers as having dignity in 
themselves, and separable from the heart ; whereas the truth 
is, that the intellect becomes noble and ignoble according to the 
food we give it, and the kind of subjects with which it is con- 
versant. It is not the reasoning power which, of itself, is no- 
puts anything else to service, and the thing which is put to service by it, are 
always two different things? 
Alcitriades. I think so. 

Socriitt*. What shall we then say of the leather-cutter? Does he cut his 
leather with his instruments only, or with his hands also? 

x. With his hands also. 
.v. Does he not use his eyes as well as his hands? 


And we agreed that the thing which uses and the thing which 
i- uxrd, were different things? 
.\lriliHnh-*. Yes. 

.w/v/to. Then the leather-cutter is not the same thing as his eyes or 

Ai<-it>i<t(I<'8. So it appears. 

Does not, then, man make use of his whole body? 

. Then the man is not the same thing as his body? 

lix. It seems SO. 

.W/-//7/.1. What, then, is the man? 

Aldbiades. I know not." pi ato> Alcibiades L 


ble, but the reasoning power occupied with its proper objects. 
Half of the mistakes of metaphysicians have arisen from their 
not observing this ; namely, that the intellect, going through 
the same processes, is yet mean or noble according to the mat- 
ter it deals with, and wastes itself away in mere rotatory mo- 
tion, if it be set to grind straws and dust. If we reason only 
respecting words, or lines, or any trifling and finite things, the 
reason becomes a contemptible faculty; but reason employed on 
holy and infinite things, becomes herself holy and infinite. So 
that, by work of the soul, I mean the reader always to under- 
stand the work of the entire immortal creature, proceeding from 
a quick, perceptive, and eager heart, perfected by the intellect, 
and finally dealt with by the hands, under the direct guidance 
of these higher powers. 

' vin. And now observe, the first important consequence of 
our fully understanding this preeminence of the soul, will be 
the due understanding of that subordination of knowledge re- 
specting which so much has already been said. For it must 
be felt at once, that the increase of knowledge, merely as such, 
does not make the soul larger or smaller ; that, in the sight of 
God, all the knowledge man can gain is as nothing : but that 
the soul, for which the great scheme of redemption was laid, be 
it ignorant or be it wise, is all in all ; and in the activity, 
strength, health, and well-being of this soul, lies the main dif- 
ference, in His sight, between one man and another. And 
that which is all in all in God's estimate is also, be assured, all 
in all in man's labor ; and to have the heart open, and the eyes 
clear, and the emotions and thoughts warm and quick, and not 
the knowing of this or the other fact, is the state needed for 
all mighty doing in this world. And therefore finally, for this, 
the weightiest of all reasons, let us take no pride in our knowl- 
edge. We may, in a certain sense, be proud of being immortal ; 
we may be proud of being God's children ; we may be proud of 
loving, thinking, seeing, and of all that we are by no human 
teaching : but not of what we have been taught by rote ; not of 
the ballast and freight of the ship of the spirit, but only of its 
pilotage, without which all the freight will only sink it faster, 


and strew the sea more richly with its ruin. There is not 
at this moment a youth of twenty, having received what we 
moderns ridiculously call education, but he knows more of 
everything, except the soul, than Plato or St. Paul did ; but 
he is not for that reason a greater man, or litter for his work,, 
or more fit to be heard by others, than Plato or St. Paul. 
There is not at this moment a junior student in our schools of 
painting, who does not know fifty times as much about the 
art as Giotto did ; but he is not for that reason greater than 
Giotto ; no, nor his work better, nor fitter for our beholding. 
Let him go on to know all that the human intellect can dis- 
cover and contain in the term of a long life, and he will not 
be one inch, one line, nearer to Giotto's feet. But let him 
leave his academy benches, and, innocently, as one knowing 
nothing, go out into the highways and hedges, and there re- 
joice with them that rejoice, and weep with them that weep ; 
and in the next world, among the companies of the great and 
good, Giotto will give his hand to him, and lead him into their 
white circle, and say, " This is our brother." 

ix. And the second important consequence of our feel- 
in-- the soul's preeminence will be our understanding the soul's 
language, however broken, or low, or feeble, or obscure in its 
words ; and chiefly that great symbolic language of past ages, 
which has now so long been unspoken. It is strange that the 
same cold and formal spirit which the Renaissance teaching 
has raised amongst us, should be equally dead to the languages 
of imitation and of symbolism ; and should at once disdain the 
faithful rendering of real nature by the modern school of the 
Pre-Raphaelites, and the symbolic rendering of imagined nature 
in the work of the thirteenth century. But so it is ; and we 
find the same body of modern artists rejecting Pre-Raphaelit- 
ism because it is not ideal ! and thirteenth century work, be- 
cause it is not real ! their own practice being at once false 
and un-ideal, and therefore equally opposed to both. 

x. It is therefore, at this juncture, of much importance 
to mark for the reader the exact relation of healthy sym- 
bolism and of healthy imitation ; and, in order to do so, let us 


return to one of our Venetian examples of symbolic art, to the 
central cupola of St. Mark's. On that cupola, as has been 
already stated, there is a mosaic representing the Apostles on 
the Mount of Olives, with an olive-tree separating each from 
the other ; and we shall easily arrive at our purpose, by com- 
paring the means which would have been adopted by a modern 
artist bred in the Renaissance schools, that is to say, under 
the influence of Claude and Poussin, and of the common teach- 
ing of the present day, with those adopted by the Byzantine 
mosaicist to express the nature of these trees. 

xi. The reader is doubtless aware that the olive is one of 
the most characteristic* and beautiful features of all Southern 
scenery. On the slopes of the northern Apennines, olives are 
the usual forest timber ; the whole of the Yal d'Arno is wooded 
with them, every one of its gardens is filled with them, and 
they grow in orchard-like ranks out of its fields of maize, or 
corn, or vine ; so that it is physically impossible, in most parts 
of the neighborhood of Florence, Pistoja, Lucca, or Pisa, to 
choose any site of landscape which shall not owe its leading 
character to the foliage of these trees. What the elm and oak 
are to England, the olive is to Italy ; nay, more than this, its 
presence is so constant, that, in the case of at least four fifths 
of the drawings made by any artist in North Italy, he must 
have been somewhat impeded by branches of olive coming be- 
tween him and the landscape. Its classical associations double 
its importance in Greece ; and in the Holy Land the remem- 
brances connected with it are of course more touching than 
can ever belong to any other tree of the field. Now, for many 
years back, at least one third out of all the landscapes painted 
by English artists have been chosen from Italian scenery; 
sketches in Greece and in the Holy Land have become as com- 
mon as sketches on Hampstead Heath ; our galleries also are 
full of sacred subjects, in which, if any background be intro- 
duced at all, the foliage of the olive ought to have been a 
prominent feature. 

And here I challenge the untravelled English reader to tell 
me what an olive-tree is like ? 


xii. I know he cannot answer my challenge. He has no 
more idea of an olive-tree than if olives grew only in the fixed 
stars. Let him meditate a little on this one fact, and consider 
its strangeness, and what a wilful and constant closing of the 
eyes to the most important truths it indicates on the part of 
the modern artist. Observe, a want of perception, not of sci- 
ence. I do not want painters to tell me any scientific facts 
about olive-trees. But it had been well for them to have felt 
and seen the olive-tree ; to have loved it for Christ's sake, 
partly also for the helmed Wisdom's sake which was to the 
heathen in some sort as that nobler Wisdom whicli stood at 
God's right hand, when He founded the earth and established 
the heavens. To have loved it, even to the hoary dimness of 
its delicate foliage, subdued and faint of hue, as if the ashes of 
the Gethsemane agony had been cast upon it for ever ; and to 
have traced, line by line, the gnarled writhing of its intricate 
branches, and the pointed fretwork of its light and narrow 
leaves, inlaid on the blue field of the sky, and the small rosy- 
vvhite stars of its spring blossoming, and the beads of sable 
fruit scattered by autumn along its topmost boughs the right, 
in Israel, of the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and, 
more than all, the softness of the mantle, silver grey, and tender 
like the down on a bird's breast, with which, far away, it veils 
the undulation of the mountains ; these it had been well for 
tin -in to have seen and drawn, whatever they had left unstudied 
in the gallery. 

xm. And if the reader would know the reason why this 
has not been done (it is one instance only out of the myriads 
which might be given of sightlessness in modern art), and will 
ask the artists themselves, he will be informed of another of 
the marvellous contradictions and inconsistencies in the base 
Eenaissance art ; for it will be answered him, that it is not 
right, nor according to law, to draw trees so that one should be 
known from another, but that trees ought to be generalized 
into a universal idea of a tree : that is to say, that the very 
school which carries its science in the representation of man 
down to the dissection of the most minute muscle, refuses, so 


much science to the drawing of a tree as shall distinguish one 
species from another ; and also, while it attends to logic, and 
rhetoric, and perspective, and atmosphere, and every other cir- 
cumstance which is trivial, verbal, external, or accidental, in 
what it either says or sees, it will not attend to what is essen- 
tial and substantial, being intensely solicitous, for instance, if 
it draws two trees, one behind the other, that the farthest off 
shall be as much smaller as mathematics show that it should 
be, but totally unsolicitous to show, what to the spectator is a 
far more important matter, whether it is an apple or an orange- 

xiv. This, however, is not to our immediate purpose. Let 
it be granted that an idea of an olive-tree is indeed to be given 
us in a special manner ; how, and by what language, this idea 
is to be conveyed, are questions on which we shall find the 
world of artists again divided ; and it was this division which 
I wished especially to illustrate by reference to the mosaics of 
St. Mark's. 

Now the main characteristics of an olive-tree are these. It 
lias sharp and slender leaves of a greyish green, nearly grey 
on the under surface, and resembling, but somewhat smaller 
than, those of our common willow. Its fruit, when ripe, is 
black and lustrous ; but of course so small, that, unless in great 
quantity, it is not conspicuous upon the tree. Its trunk and 
branches are peculiarly fantastic in their twisting, showing 
their fibres at every turn ; and the trunk is often hollow, and 
even rent into many divisions like separate stems, but the ex- 
tremities are exquisitely graceful, especially in the setting on 
of the leaves ; and the notable and characteristic effect of the 
tree in the distance is of a rounded and soft mass or ball of 
downy foliage. 

xv. Supposing a modern artist to address himself to the 
rendering of this tree with his best skill : he will probably 
draw accurately the twisting of the branches, but yet this will 
hardly distinguish the tree from an oak : he will also render 
the color and intricacy of the foliage, but this will only confuse 
the idea of an oak with that of a willow. The fruit, and the 


peculiar grace of the leaves at the extremities, and the fibrous- 
structure of the stems, will all be too minute to be rendered 
consistently with his artistical feeling of breadth, or with the 
amount of labor which he considers it dexterous and legitimate 
to bestow upon the work : but, above all, the rounded and mo- 
notonous form of the head of the tree will be at variance with 
his ideas of " composition ;" he will assuredly disguise or break 
it, and the main points of the olive-tree will all at last remain 

xvi. Now observe, the old Byzantine mosaicist begins 
his work at enormous disadvantage. It is to be some one 
hundred and fifty feet above the eye, in a dark cupola ; execu- 
ted not with free touches of the pencil, but with square pieces 
of glass ; not by his own hand, but by various workmen under 
his superintendence ; finally, not with a principal purpose of 
drawing olive-trees, but mainly as a decoration of the cupola. 
There is to be an olive-tree beside each apostle, and their stems 
are to be the chief lines which divide the dome. He therefore 
at once gives up the irregular twisting of the boughs hither 
and thither, but he will not give up their fibres. Other trees 
have irregular and fantastic branches, but the knitted cordage 
of fibres is the olive's own. Again, were he to draw the leaves 
of their natural size, they would be so small that their forms 
would be invisible in the darkness ; and were he to draw them 
so large as that their shape might be seen, they would look like 
laurel instead of olive. So he arranges them in small clusters 
of five each, nearly of the shape which the Byzantines give to 
the petals of the lily, but elongated so as to give the idea of leaf- 
a-v upon a spray; and these clusters, his object always, be it 
remembered, being decoration not less than representation, 
he arranges symmetrically on each side of his branches, laying 
the whole on a dark ground most truly suggestive of the heavy 
rounded mass of the tree, which, in its turn, is relieved against 
the gold of the cupola. Lastly, comes the question respecting 
the fruit. The whole power and honor of the olive is in its 
f ruit ; and, unless that be represented, nothing is represented. 
But if the berries were colored black or green, they would be 



Mosaics of Olivetree and Flowers. 


totally invisible ; if of any other color, utterly unnatural, and 
violence would be done to the whole conception. There is but 
one conceivable means of showing them, namely to represent 
them as golden. For the idea of golden fruit of various kinds 
was already familiar to the mind, as in the apples of the Hes- 
perides, without any violence to the distinctive conception of 
the fruit itself.* So the mosaicist introduced small round 
golden berries into the dark ground between each leaf, and his 
work was done. 

xvn. On the opposite plate, the uppermost figure on the 
left is a tolerably faithful representation of the general effect 
of one of these decorative olive-trees ; the figure on the right 
is the head of the tree alone, showing the leaf clusters, berries, 
and interlacing of the boughs as they leave the stem. Each 
bough is connected with a separate line of fibre in the trunk, 
and the junctions of the arms and stem are indicated, down to 
the very root of the tree, with a truth in structure which may 
well put to shame the tree anatomy of modern times. 

xvin. The white branching figures upon the serpentine 
band below are two of the clusters of flowers which form the 
foreground of a mosaic in the atrium. I have printed the 
whole plate in blue, because that color approaches more nearly 
than black to the distant effect of the mosaics, of which the 
darker portions are generally composed of blue, in greater 
quantity than any other color. But the waved background in 
this instance, is of various shades of blue and green alternately, 
with one narrow black band to give it force ; the whole being 
intended to represent the distant effect and color of deep grass, 
and the wavy line to express its bending motion , just as the 
same symbol is used to represent the waves of water. Then 
the two white clusters are representative of the distinctly visi- 

* Thus the grapes pressed by Excesse are partly golden (Spenser, book 
ii. cant. 12.): 

" Which did themselves amongst the leaves enfold, 
As lurking from the view of covetous guest, 
That the weake boughes, with so rich load opprest 
Did bow adowne as overburdened." 


ble herbage close to the spectator, having buds and flowers of 
two kinds, springing in one case out of the midst of twisted 
grass, and in the other out of their own proper leaves ; the 
clusters being kept each so distinctly symmetrical, as to form, 
when set side by side, an ornamental border of perfect archi- 
tectural severity ; and yet each cluster different from the next, 
and every flower, and bud, and knot of grass, varied in form 
and thought. The way the mosaic tesserae are arranged, so as 
to give the writhing of the grass blades round the stalks of the 
flowers, is exceedingly fine. 

The tree circles below are examples of still more severely 
conventional farms, adopted, on principle, when the decoration 
is to be in white and gold, instead of color ; these ornaments 
being cut in white marble on the outside of the church, and 
the ground laid in with gold, though necessarily here repre- 
sented, like the rest of the plate, in blue. And it is exceed- 
ingly interesting to see how the noble workman, the moment 
he is restricted to more conventional materials, retires into more 
conventional forms, and reduces his various leafage into sym- 
metry, now nearly perfect ; yet observe, in the central figure, 
where the symbolic meaning of the vegetation beside the cross 
required it to be more distinctly indicated, he has given it life 
and growth by throwing it into unequal curves on the opposite 

xix. I believe the reader will now see, that in these 
mosaics, which the careless traveller is in the habit of passing 
by with contempt, there is a depth of feeling and of meaning 
greater than in most of the best sketches from nature of mod- 
ern times ; and, without entering into any question whether 
these conventional representations are as good as, under the re- 
quired limitations, it was possible to render them, they are at 
all events good enough completely to illustrate that mode of 
symbolical expression which appeals altogether to thought, and 
in no wise trusts to realization. And little as, in the present 
state of our schools, such an assertion is likely to be believed, 
the fact is that this kind of expression is the only one allow- 
able in noble art. 


xx. I pray the reader to have patience with me for a few 
moments. I do not mean that no art is noble but Byzantine 
mosaic ; but no art is noble which in any wise depends upon 
direct imitation for its effect upon the mind. This was asserted 
in the opening chapters of "ITodeYrTPainteTs," but not upon 
the highest grounds ; the results at which we have now arrived 
in our investigation of early art, will enable me to place it on 
a loftier and firmer foundation. 

xxi. We have just seen that all great art is the work of 
the whole living creature, body and soul, and chiefly of the 
soul. But it is not only the work of the whole creature, it like- 
wise addresses the whole creature. That in which the perfect 
beifig speaks, must also have the perfect being to listen. I am 
not to spend my utmost spirit, and give all my strength and 
life to my work, while you, spectator or hearer, will give me only 
the attention of half your soul. You must be all .. minej as 1 
am all yours ; it is the only condition on which we can meet 
each other. All your faculties, all that is in you of greatest 
and best, must be awake in you, or I have no reward. The 
painter is not to cast the entire treasure of his human nature 
into his labor, merely to please a part of the beholder : not 
merely to delight his senses, not merely to amuse his fancy, 
not merely to beguile him into emotion, not merely to lead 
him into thought, but to do all this. Senses, fancy, feeling, 
reason^_lhe_wJioIe. of the beholding spirit, must be stilled in at- 
tention or stirred with delight ; else the laboring spirit has not 
done its work well. For observe, it is not merely its right to 
be thus met, face to face, heart to heart ; but it is its duty to 
evoke its answering of the other soul ; its trumpet call must be 
so clear, that though the challenge may by dulness or indo- 
lence be unanswered, there shall be no error as to the meaning 
of the appeal ; there must be a summons in the work, which 
it shall be our own fault if we do not obey. We require this 
of it, we beseech this of it. Most men do not know what is 
in them, till they receive this summons from their fellows : 
their hearts die within them, sleep settles upon them, the leth- 
argy of the world's miasmata ; there is nothing for which they 


are so thankful as for that cry, " Awake, thou that sleepest." 
And this cry must be most loudly uttered to their noblest fac- 
ulties ; first of all to the imagination, for that is the most ten- 
der, and the soonest struck into numbness by the poisoned air ; 
so that one of the main functions of art in its service to man, 
is to arouse the imagination from its palsy, like the angel troub- 
ling the Bethesda pool ; and the art which does not do this is 
false to its duty, and degraded in its nature. It is not enough 
that it be well imagined, it must task the beholder also to im- 
agine well ; and this so imperatively, that if he does not choose 
to rouse himself to meet the work, he shall not taste it, nor en- 
joy it in any wise. Once that he is well awake, the guidance 
which the artist gives him should be full and authoritative : 
the beholder's imagination must not be suffered to take its own 
way, or wander hither and thither ; but neither must it be left 
at rest ; and the right point of realization, for any given work 
of art, is that which will enable the spectator to complete it 
for himself, in the exact way the artist would have him, but 
not that which will save him the trouble of effecting the com- 
pletion. So soon as the idea is entirely conveyed, the artist's 
labor should cease ; and every touch which he adds beyond the 
point when, with the help of the beholder's imagination, the 
story ought to have been told, is a degradation to his work. 
So that the art is wrong, which either realizes its subject com- 
pletely, or fails in giving such definite aid as shall enable it to 
be realized by the beholding imagination. 

xxn. It follows, therefore, that the quantity of finish or 
detail which may rightly be bestowed upon any work, depends 
on the number and kind of ideas which the artist wishes to 
convey, much more than on the amount of realization necessary 
to enable the imagination to grasp them. It is true that the 
differences of judgment formed by one or another observer are 
in great degree dependent on their unequal imaginative powers, 
as well as their unequal efforts in following the artist's inten- 
tion ; and it constantly happens that the drawing which appears 
clear to the painter in whose mind the thought is formed, is 


slightly inadequate to suggest it to the spectator. These causes 
of false judgment, or imperfect achievement, must always exist, 
but they are of no importance. For, in nearly every mind, 
the imaginative power, however unable to act independently, 
is so easily -helped and so brightly animated by the most ob- 
scure suggestion, that there is no form of artistical language 
which will not readily be seized by it, if once it set itself in-. 
telligently to the task ; and even without such effort there are 
few hieroglyphics of which, once understanding that it is to 
take them as hieroglyphics, it cannot make itself a pleasant 

xxin. Thus, in the case of all sketches, etchings, unfinish- 
ed engravings, &c., no one ever supposes them to be imitations. 
Black outlines on white paper cannot produce a deceptive re- 
semblance of anything ; and the mind, understanding at once 
that it is to depend on its own powers for great part of its 
pleasure, sets itself so actively to the task that it can completely 
enjoy the rudest outline in which meaning exists. ~Now, when 
it is once in this temper, the artist is infinitely to be blamed 
who insults it by putting anything into his work which is not 
suggestive : having summoned the imaginative power, he must 
turn it to account and keep it employed, or it will run against 
him in indignation. Whatever he does merely to realize and 
substantiate an idea is impertinent ; he is like a dull story-teller, 
dwelling on points which the hearer anticipates or disregards. 
The imagination will say to him : "I knew all that before ; I 
don't want to be told that. Go on; or be silent, and let 
me go on in my own way. I can tell the story better than 

Observe, then, whenever finish is given for the sake of reali- 
zation, it is wrong ; whenever it is given for the sake of add- 
ing ideas it is right. All true finish consists in the addition of 
ideas, that is to say, in giving the imagination more food; for 
once well awaked, it is ravenous for food : but the painter who 
finishes in order to substantiate takes the food out of its mouth, 
.and it will turn and rend him. 


xxiv. Let us go back, for instance, to our olive grove, 
or, lest the reader should be tired of olives, let it be an oak 
copse, and consider the difference between the substantiating 
and the imaginative methods of finish in such a subject. A 
few strokes of the pencil, or dashes of color, will be enough to 
enable the imagination to conceive a tree ; and in those dashes 
of color Sir Joshua Reynolds would have rested, and would 
have suffered the imagination to paint what more it liked for 
itself, and grow oaks, or olives, or apples, out of the few dashes 
of color at its leisure. On the other hand, Hobbima, one of 
the worst of the realists, smites the imagination on the mouth, 
and bids it be silent, while he sets to work to paint his oak of 
the right green, and fill up its foliage laboriously with jagged 
touches, and furrow the bark all over its branches, so as, if pos- 
sible, to deceive us into supposing that we are looking at a real 
oak ; which, indeed, we had much better do at once, without 
giving any one the trouble to deceive us in the matter. 

xxv. Now, the truly great artist neither leaves the imagi- 
nation to itself, like Sir Joshua, nor insults it by realization, 
like Hobbima, but finds it continual employment of the hap- 
piest kind. Having summoned it by his vigorous first touches, 
he says to it : " Here is a tree for you, and it is to be an oak. 
Now I know that you can make it green and intricate for your- 
self, but that is not enough : an oak is not only green and in- 
tricute, but its leaves have most beautiful and fantastic forms 
which I am very sure you are not quite able to complete with- 
out help ; so I will draw a cluster or two perfectly for you, 
;u id then you can go on and do all the other clusters. So far 
so good : but the leaves are not enough ; the oak is to be full 
of acorns, and you may not be quite able to imagine the way 
they grow, nor. the pretty contrast of their glossy almond- 
Bfaaped nuts with the chasing of their cups; so I will draw a 
bunch or two of acorns for you, and you can fill up the oak 
with others like them. Good : but that is not enough ; it is to 
I't- a ! d-ight day in summer, and all the outside leaves are to be 
glittering in the sunshine as if their edges were of gold : I can- 
not paint this, but 3*011 can; so I will really gild some of the- 


edges nearest you,* and you can turn the gold into sunshine, 
and cover the tree with it. Well done : but still this is not 
enough ; the tree is so full f oliaged and so old that the wood 
birds come in crowds to build there ; they are singing, two or 
three under the shadow of every bough. I cannot show you 
them all ; but here is a large one on the outside spray, and you 
can fancy the others inside." 

xxvi. In this 'way the calls upon the imagination are mul- 
tiplied as a great painter finishes ; and from these larger inci- 
dents he may proceed into the most minute particulars, and 
lead the companion imagination to the veins in the leaves and 
the mosses on the trunk, and the shadows of . the dead leaves 
upon the grass, but always multiplying thoughts, or subjects of 
thought, never working for the sake of realization ; the amount 
of realization actually reached depending on his space, his 
materials, and the nature of the thoughts he wishes to suggest.. 
In the sculpture of an oak-tree, introduced above an Adoration 
of the Magi on the tomb of the Doge Marco Dolfino (four- 
teenth century), the sculptor has been content with a few 
leaves, a single acorn, and a bird ; while, on the other hand, 
Millais' willow-tree with the robin, in the background of his 
" Ophelia," or the foreground of Hunt's " Two Gentlemen of 
Yerona," carries the appeal to the imagination into particulars 
so multiplied and minute, that the work nearly reaches realiza- 
tion. But it does not matter how near realization the work 
may approach in its fulness, or how far off it may remain in 
its slightness, so long as realization is not the end proposed, 
but the informing one spirit of the thoughts of another. And 
in this greatness and simplicity of purpose all noble art is alike, 
however slight its means, or however perfect, from the rudest 
mosaics of St. Mark's to the most tender finishing of the 
" Huguenot " or the " Ophelia." 

xxvu. Only observe, in this matter, that a greater degree 

* The reader must not suppose that the use of gold, in this manner, is 
confined to early art. Tintoret, the greatest master of pictorial effect that 
ever existed, has gilded the ribs of the fig-leaves in his "Resurrection," in 
the Scuola di San Rocco. 


of realization is often allowed, for the sake of color, than would 
be right without it. For there is not any distinction between 
the artists of the inferior and the nobler schools more definite 
than this ; that the first color for the sake of realization, and 
the second realize for the sake of color. I hope that, in the 
fifth chapter, enough has been said to show the nobility of 
color, though it is a subject on which I would fain enlarge 
whenever I approach it : for there is none that needs more to 
IK- insisted upon, chiefly on account of the opposition of the 
persons who have no eye for color, and who, being therefore 
unable to understand that it is just as divine and distinct in its 
power as music (only infinitely more varied in its harmonies), 
talk of it as if it were inferior and servile with respect to the 
other powers of art ; * whereas it is so far from being this, that 
wherever it enters it must take the mastery, and, whatever else 
is sacrificed for its sake, it, at least, must be right. This is 
partly the case even with music : it is at our choice, whether 
we will accompany a poem with music, or not ; but, if we do, 
the music must be right, and neither discordant nor inexpres- 
sive. The goodness and sweetness of the poem cannot save it, 
if the music be harsh or false ; but, if the music be right, the 
poem may be insipid or inharmonious, and still saved by the 
notes to which it is wedded. But this is far more true of color. 
If that be wrong, all is wrong. No amount of expression or 

* Nothing is more wonderful to me than to hear the pleasure of the eye, 
in color, spoken of with disdain as "sensual," while people exalt that of 
the ear in music. Do they really suppose the eye is a less noble bodily 
organ than the ear, that the organ by which nearly all our knowledge of 
the external universe is communicated to us, and through which we learn 
the wonder and the love, can be less exalted in its own peculiar delight than 
the ear, which is only for the communication of the ideas which owe to the 
eye their very existence? I do not mean to depreciate music: let it be loved 
and reverenced as is just; only let the delight of the eye be reverenced 
more. The great power of music over the multitude is owing, not to its 
being less but more sensual than color; it is so distinctly and so richly 
sensual, that it can be idly enjoyed; it is exactly at the point where the 
lower and highrr pleasures of the senses and imagination are balanced; so 
that pure and great minds love it for its invention and emotion, and lower 
minds for its sensual power. 


invention can redeem an ill-colored picture ; while, on the 
other hand, if the color be right, there is nothing it will not 
raise or redeem ; and, therefore, wherever color enters at all, 
anything may be sacrificed to it, and, rather than it should be 
false or feeble, everything 'must be sacrificed to it : so that, 
when an artist touches color, it is the same thing as when a 
poet takes up a musical instrument ; he implies, in so doing, 
that he is a master, up to a certain point, of that instrument, 
and can produce sweet sound from it, and is able to fit the 
course and measure of his words to its tones, which, if he be 
not able to do, he had better not have touched it. In like 
manner, to add color to a drawing is to undertake for the per- 
fection of a visible music, which, if it be false, will utterly and 
assuredly mar the whole work ; if true, proportionately elevate 
it, according to its power and sweetness. But, in no case ought 
the color to be added in order to increase the realization. The 
drawing or engraving is all that the imagination needs. To 
" paint " the subject merely to make it more real, is only to in- 
sult the imaginative power, and to vulgarize the whole. Hence 
the common, though little understood feeling, among men of 
ordinary cultivation, that an inferior sketch is always better 
than a bad painting ; although, in the latter, there may verily 
be more skill than in the former. For the painter who has 
presumed to touch color without perfectly understanding it, 
not for the color's sake, nor because he loves it, but for the 
sake of completion merely, has committed two sins against us ; 
he has dulled the imagination by not trusting it far enough, 
and then, in this languid state, he oppresses it with base and 
false color ; for all color that is not lovely, is discordant ; there 
is no mediate condition. So, therefore, when it is permitted 
to enter at all, it must be with . the predetermination that, cost 
what it will, the color shall be right and lovely : and I only 
wish that, in general, it were better understood that & painters 
business is to paint, primarily ; and that all expression, and 
grouping, and conceiving, and what else goes to constitute 
design, are of less importance than color, in a colored work. 
And so they were always considered in the noble periods ; and 


sometimes all resemblance to nature whatever (as in painted 
windows, illuminated manuscripts, and such other work) is 
sacrificed to the brilliancy of color ; sometimes distinctness of 
form to its richness, as by Titian, Turner, and Reynolds ; and, 
which is the point on which we are at present insisting, some- 
times, in the pursuit of its utmost refinements on the surfaces 
of objects, an amount of realization becomes consistent with 
noble art, which would otherwise be altogether inadmissible, 
that is to say, which no great mind could otherwise have either 
produced or enjoyed. The extreme finish given by the Pre- 
Raphaelites is rendered noble chiefly by their love of color. 

xxvui. So then, whatever may be the means, or whatever 
the more immediate end of any kind of art, all of it that is 
good agrees in this, that it is the expression of one soul talking 
to another, and is precious according to the greatness of the 
soul that utters it. And consider what mighty consequences 
follow from our acceptance of this truth ! what a key we have 
herein given us for the interpretation of the art of all time ! 
For, as long as we held art to consist in any high manual skill, 
or successful imitation of natural objects, or any scientific and 
legalized manner of performance whatever, it was necessary for 
us to limit our admiration to narrow periods and to few men. 
According to our own knowledge and sympathies, the period 
chosen might be different, and our rest might be in Greek stat- 
ues, or Dutch landscapes, or Italian Madonnas ; but, whatever 
our choice, we were therein captive, barred from all reverence 
but of our favorite masters, and habitually using the language of 
contempt towards the whole of the human race to whom it had 
n.t pleased Heaven to reveal the arcana of the particular crafts- 
manship we admired, and who, it might be, had lived their 
term of seventy years upon the earth, and fitted themselves 
t lii-ruin for the eternal world, without any clear understanding, 
>ometimes even with an insolent disregard, of the laws of per. 
>pectivu and chiaroscuro. * 

But let us once comprehend the holier nature of the art of 
man, and begin to look for the meaning of the spirit, however 
M-llabled, and the scene is changed; and we are changed also. 


Those small and dexterous creatures whom once we wor- 
shipped, those fur-capped divinities with sceptres of camel's 
iiair, peering and poring in their one-windowed chambers over 
the minute preciousness of the labored canvas ; how are they 
swept away and crushed into unnoticeable darkness ! And in 
.their stead, as the walls of the dismal rooms that enclosed them, 
,and us, are struck by the four winds of Heaven, and rent away, 
and as the world opens to our sight, lo ! far back into all the 
depths of time, and forth from all the fields that have been 
sown with human life, how the harvest of the dragon's teeth 
is springing ! how the companies of the gods are ascending out 
of the earth ! The dark stones that have so long been the 
sepulchres of the thoughts of nations, and the forgotten ruins 
wherein their faith lay charnelled, give up the dead that were 
in them ; and beneath the Egyptian ranks of sultry and silent 
rock, and amidst the dim golden lights of the Byzantine dome, 
and out of the confused and cold shadows of the Northern 
cloister, behold, the multitudinous souls come forth with sing- 
ing, gazing on us with the soft eyes of newly comprehended 
sympathy, and stretching their white arms to us across the 
grave, in the solemn gladness of everlasting brotherhood. 

xxix. The other danger to which, it was above said, we 
were primarily exposed under our present circumstances of 
life, is the pursuit of vain pleasure, that is to say, false pleasure ; 
delight, which is not indeed delight ; as knowledge vainly ac- 
cumulated, is not indeed knowledge. And this we are exposed 
to chiefly in the fact of our ceasing to be children. For the 
child does not seek false pleasure ; its pleasures are true, simple, 
and instinctive : but the youth is apt to abandon his early and 
true delight for vanities, seeking to be like men, and sacrific- 
ing his natural and pure enjoyments to his pride. In like 
manner, it seems to me that modern civilization sacrifices much 
pure and true pleasure to various forms of ostentation from 
which it can receive no fruit. Consider, for a moment, what 
'kind of pleasures are open to human nature, undiseased. Pass- 
ing by the consideration of the pleasures of the higher affec- 
tions, which lie at the root of everything, and considering the 


definite and practical pleasures of daily life, there is, first, the 
pleasure of doing good ; the greatest of all, only apt to be de- 
spised from not being often enough tasted : and then, I know 
not in what order to put them, nor does it matter, the pleas- 
ure of gaining knowledge ; the pleasure of the excitement of 
imagination and emotion (or poetry and passion) ; and, lastly, 
the gratification of the senses, first of the eye, then of the ear, 
and then of the others in their order. 

xxx. All these we are apt to make subservient to the 
desire of praise ; nor unwisely, when the praise sought is God's 
and the conscience's: but if the sacrifice is made for man's 
admiration, and Jmowledge is only sought for praise, passion 
repressed or affected for praise, and the arts practised for praise, 
we are feeding on the bitterest apples of Sodom, suffering 
always ten mortifications for one delight. And it seems to me, 
that in the modern civilized world we make such sacrifice 
doubly : first, by laboring for merely ambitious purposes ; and 
secondly, which is the main point in question, by being ashamed 
of simple pleasures, more especially of the pleasure in sweet 
color and form, a pleasure evidently so necessary to man's per- 
fectness and virtue, that the beauty of color and form has been 
given lavishly throughout the whole of creation, so that it may 
become the food of all, and with such intricacy and subtlety 
that it may deeply employ the thoughts of all. If we refuse 
to accept the natural delight which the Deity has thus pro- 
vided for us, we must either become ascetics, or we must seek 
for some base and guilty pleasures to replace those of Paradise, 
which we have denied ourselves. 

Some years ago, in passing through some of the cells of the 
(Jrand Chartreuse, noticing -that the window of each apartment 
looked across the little garden of its inhabitant to the wall of 
the cell opposite, and commanded no other view, I asked the 
monk beside me, why the window was not rather made on the 
side of the cell whence it would open to the solemn fields of 
the Alpine valley. " We do not come here," he replied, " to 
look at the mountains." 

xxxi. The same answer is given, practically, by the men 


of this century, to every such question ; only the walls with 
which they enclose themselves are those of pride, not of prayer. 
But in the middle ages it was otherwise. Not, indeed, in 
landscape itself, but in the art which can take the place of it, 
in the noble color and form with which they illumined, and 
into which they wrought, every object around them that was 
in any wise subjected to their power, they obeyed the laws of 
their inner nature, and found its proper food. The splendor 
and fantasy even of dress, which in these days we pretend to 
despise, or in which, if we even indulge, it is only for the sake 
of vanity, and therefore to our infinite harm, were in those 
early days studied for love of their true beauty and honorable- 
ness, and became one of the main helps to dignity of character, 
and courtesy of bearing. Look back to what we have been 
told of the dress of the early Venetians, that it was so invented 
" that in clothing themselves with it, they might clothe them- 
selves also with modesty and honor ;" * consider what noble- 
ness of expression there is in the dress of any of the portrait 
figures of the great times, nay, what perfect beauty, and more 
than beauty, there is in the folding of the robe round the im- 
agined form even of the saint or of the angel ; and then consider 
whether the grace of vesture be indeed a thing to be despised. 
We cannot despise it if we would ; and in all our highest poetry 
and happiest thought we cling to the magnificence which in 
daily life we disregard. The essence of modern romance is 
simply the return of the heart and fancy to the things in which 
they naturally take pleasure ; and half the influence of the best 
romances, of Ivanhoe, or Marmion, or the Crusaders, or the 
Lady of the Lake, is completely dependent upon the accessaries 
of armor and costume. Nay, more than this, deprive the Iliad 
itself of its costume, and consider how much of its power would 
be lost. And that delight and reverence which we feel in, and 
by means of, the mere imagination of these accessaries, the 
middle ages had in the vision of them ; the nobleness of dress 
exercising, as I have said, a perpetual influence upon character, 

*Vol. II. Appendix?. 


tending in a thousand ways to increase dignity and self-respect, 
and together with grace of gesture, to induce serenity of thought. 

xxxii. I do not mean merely in its magnificence ; the 
most splendid time was not the best time. It was still in the 
thirteenth century, when, as we have seen, simplicity and gor- 
geousness were justly mingled, and the " leathern girdle and 
clasp of bone" were worn, as well as the embroidered man- 
tle, that the manner of dress seems to have been noblest. 
The chain mail of the knight, flowing and falling over his 
form in lapping waves of gloomy strength, was worn under full 
robes of one color in the ground, his crest quartered on them, 
and their borders enriched with subtle illumination. The 
women wore first a dress close to the form in like manner, and 
then long and flowing robes, veiling them up to the neck, and 
delicately embroidered around the hem, the sleeves, and the 
girdle. The use of plate armor gradually introduced more 
fantastic types ; the nobleness of the form was lost beneath the 
steel ; the gradually increasing luxury and vanity of the age 
strove for continual excitement in more quaint and extravagant 
devices ; and in the fifteenth century, dress reached its point of 
utmost splendor and fancy, being in many cases still exquisitely 
graceful, but now, in its morbid magnificence, devoid of all 
wholesome influence on manners. From this point, like archi- 
tecture, it was rapidly degraded ; and sank through the buif 
coat, and lace collar, and jack-boot, to the bag-wig, tailed coat, 
and high-heeled shoes ; and so to what it is now. 

xxxin. Precisely analogous to this destruction of beauty 
in dress, has been that of beauty in architecture ; its color, and 
grace, and fancy, being gradually sacrificed to the base forms of 
the Renaissance, exactly as the splendor of chivalry has faded 
into the paltriness of fashion. And observe the form in which 
the necessary reaction has taken place ; necessary, for it was 
not possible that one of the strongest instincts of the human 
race could be deprived altogether of its natural food. Exactly 
in the degree that the architect withdrew from his buildings 
the sources of delight which in early days they had so richly 
possessed, demanding, in accordance with the new principles of 


taste, the banishment of all happy color and healthy invention, 
in that degree the minds of men began to turn to landscape as 
their only resource. The picturesque school of art rose up to 
address those capacities of enjoyment for which, in sculpture, 
architecture, or the higher walks of painting, there was employ- 
ment no more; and the shadows of Rembrandt, and savageness 
of Salvator, arrested the admiration which was no longer per- 
mitted to be rendered to the gloom or the grotesqueness of 
the Gothic aisle. And thus the English school of landscape, 
culminating in Turner, is in reality nothing else than a healthy 
effort to fill the void which the destruction of Gothic architec- 
ture has left. 

xxxrv. But the void cannot thus be completely filled ; no, 
nor filled in any considerable degree. The art of landscape- 
painting will never become thoroughly interesting or sufficing 
to the minds of men engaged in active life, or concerned prin- 
cipally with practical subjects. The sentiment and imagina- 
tion necessary to enter fully into the romantic forms of art are 
chiefly the characteristics of youth ; so that nearly all men as 
they advance in years, and some even from their childhood 
upwards, must be appealed to, if at all, by a direct and sub- 
stantial art, brought before their daily observation and con- 
nected with their daily interests. No form of art answers 
these conditions so well as architecture, which, as it can receive 
help from every character of mind in the workman, can address 
every character of mind in the spectator ; forcing itself into 
notice even in his most languid moments, and possessing this 
chief and peculiar advantage, that it is the property of all men. 
Pictures and statues may be jealously withdrawn by their pos- 
sessors from the public gaze, and to a certain degree their 
safety requires them to be so withdrawn; but the outsides of 
our houses belong not so much to us as to the passer-by, and 
whatever cost and pains we bestow upon them, though too 
often arising out of ostentation, have at least the effect of be- 

xxxv. If, then, considering these things, any of my readers 
should determine, according to their means, to set themselves to 


the revival of a healthy school of architecture in England, and 
wish to know in few words how this may be done, the answer 
is clear and simple. First, let us cast out utterly whatever is 
connected with the Greek, Roman, or Renaissance architecture, 
in principle or in form. We have seen above, that the whole 
mass of the architecture, founded on Greek and Roman models, 
which we have been in the habit of building for the last three 
centuries, is utterly devoid of all life, virtue, honorableness, or 
power of doing good. It is base, unnatural, unfruitful, unen- 
joyable, and impious. Pagan in its origin, proud and unholy in 
its revival, paralyzed in its old age, yet making prey in its 
dotage of all the good and living things that were springing 
around it in their youth, as the dying and desperate king, who 
had long fenced himself so strongly with the towers of it, is 
said to have filled his failing veins with the blood of children ;* 
an architecture invented, as it seems, to make plagiarists of its 
architects, slaves of its workmen, and Sybarites of its inhabitants ; 
an architecture in which intellect is idle, invention impossible, 
but in which all luxury is gratified, and all insolence forti- 
fied ; the first thing we have to do is to cast it out, and shake 
the dust of it from our feet for ever. Whatever has any con- 
nexion with the five orders, or with any one of the orders, what- 
ever is Doric, or Ionic, or Tuscan, or Corinthian, or Composite, 
or in any way Grecized or Romanized ; whatever betrays the 
smallest respect for Vitruvian laws, or conformity with Palla- 
dian work, that we are to endure no more. To cleanse our- 
selves of these "cast clouts and rotten rags" is the first thing 
to be done in the court of our prison. 

xxxvi. Then, to turn our prison into a palace is an easy 
thing. We have seen above, that exactly in the degree in 

* Louis the Eleventh. " In the month of March, 1481, Louis was seized 
with a fit of apoplexy at St. Benoit-du-lac-mort, near Chinon. He remained 
speechless and bereft of reason three days; and then but very imperfectly 
restored, he languished in a miserable state. . . To cure him," says a con- 
temporary historian, "wonderful and terrible medicines were compounded. 
It was reported among the people that his physicians opened the veins of 
little children, and made him drink their blood, to correct the poorness of 
his ovrn."Bu#sey'8 History of France. London, 1850. 


which Greek and Koman architecture is lifeless, unprofitable, 
and unchristian, in that same degree our own ancient Gothic 
is animated, serviceable, and faithful. We have seen that it is 
flexible to all duty, enduring to all time, instructive to all 
hearts, honorable and holy in all offices. It is capable alike of 
all lowliness and all dignity, fit alike for cottage porch or cas- 
tle gateway ; in domestic service familiar, in religious, sublime ; 
simple, and playful, so that childhood may read it, yet clothed 
with a power that can awe the mightiest, and exalt the loftiest 
of human spirits : an architecture that kindles every faculty 
in its workman, and addresses every emotion in its beholder ; 
which, with every stone that is laid on its solemn walls, raises 
some human heart a step nearer heaven, and which from its 
birth has been incorporated with the existence, and in all its 
form is symbolical of the faith, of Christianity. In this archi- 
tecture let us henceforward build, alike the church, the palace^ 
and the cottage ; but chiefly let us use it for our civil and 
domestic buildings. These once ennobled, our ecclesiastical 
work will be exalted together with them : but churches are 
not the proper scenes for experiments in untried architecture, 
nor for exhibitions of unaccustomed beauty. It is certain that 
we must often fail before we can again build a natural and 
noble Gothic : let not our temples be the scenes of our failures. 
It is certain that we must offend many deep-rooted prejudices, 
before ancient Christian architecture * can be again received 
by all of us : let not religion be the first source of such offence. 
"We shall meet with difficulties in applying Gothic architecture 
to churches, which would in no wise affect the designs of civil 
buildings, for the most beautiful forms of Gothic chapels are 
not those which are best fitted for Protestant worship. As it 
was noticed in the second volume, when speaking of the 
Cathedral of Torcello it seems not unlikely, that as we study 
either the science of sound, or the practice of the early 

* Observe, I call Gothic "Christian" architecture, not "ecclesiastical." 
There is a wide difference. I believe it is the only architecture which Chris- 
tian men should build, but not at all an architecture necessarily connected 
with the services of their church. 


Christians, we may see reason to place the pulpit generally at 
the extremity of the apse or chancel ; an arrangement entirely 
destructive of the beauty of a Gothic church, as seen in exist- 
ing examples, and requiring modifications of its design in other 
parts with which we should be unwise at present to embarrass 
ourselves; besides, that the effort to introduce the style 
exclusively for ecclesiastical purposes, excites against it the 
strong prejudices of many persons who might otherwise be 
easily enlisted among its most ardent advocates. I am quite 
sure, for instance, that if such noble architecture as has been 
employed for the interior of the church just built in Margaret 
Street* had been seen in a civil building, it would have 
decided the question with many men at once ; whereas, at 
present, it will be looked upon ^vith fear and suspicion, as the 
expression of the ecclesiastical principles of a particular party. 
But, whether thus regarded or not, this church assuredly 
decides one question conclusively, that of our present capa- 
bility of Gothic design. It is the first piece of architecture I 
have seen, built in modern days, which is free from all signs 
of timidity or incapacity. In general proportion of parts, in 
refinement and piquancy of mouldings, above all, in force, 
vitality, and grace of floral ornament, worked in a broad and 
masculine manner, it challenges fearless comparison with the 
noblest work of any time. Having done this, we may do any- 
thing; there need be no limits to our hope or our confidence; 
and I believe it to be possible for us, not only to equal, but 
far to surpass, in some respects, any Gothic yet seen in 
Northern countries. In the introduction of figure-sculpture, 
we must, indeed, for the present, remain utterly inferior, for 
we have no figures to study from. No architectural sculpture 

* Mr. Hope's Church, in Margaret Street, Portland Place. I do not alto- 
gether like the arrangements of color in the brickwork; but these will 
hardly attract the eye, where so much has been already done with precious 
and beautiful marble, and is yet to be done in fresco. Much will depend, 
however, upon the coloring of this latter portion. I wish that either 
Ilolman Hunt or Millaiscould be prevailed upon to do at least some of these 
smaller frescoes. 


was ever good for anything which did not represent the dress 
and persons of the people living at the time ; and our modern 
dress will not form decorations for spandrils and niches. But 
in floral sculpture we may go far beyond what has yet been 
done, as well as in refinement of inlaid work and general exe- 
cution. For, although the glory of Gothic architecture is to 
receive the rudest work, it refuses not the best ; and, when 
once we have been content to admit the handling of the sim- 
plest workman, we shall soon be rewarded by finding many 
of our simple workmen become cunning ones : and, with the 
help of modern wealth and science, we may do things like 
Giotto's campanile, instead of like our own rude cathedrals; 
but better than Giotto's campanile, insomuch as we may 
adopt the pure and perfect forms of the Northern Gothic, 
and work them out with the Italian refinement. It is hardly 
possible at present to imagine what may be the splendor of 
buildings designed in the forms of English and French thir- 
teenth century surface Gothic, and wrought out with the 
refinement of Italian art in the details, and with a deliberate 
resolution, since we cannot have figure sculpture, to display 
in them the beauty of every flower and herb of the English 
fields, each by each ; doing as much for every tree that roots 
itself in our rocks, and every blossom that drinks our summer 
rains, as our ancestors did for the oak, the ivy, and the rose. 
Let this be the object of our ambition, and let us begin 
to approach it, not ambitiously, but in all humility, accepting 
help from the feeblest hands; and the London of the nine- 
teenth century may yet become as Venice without her despo- 
tism, and as Florence without her dispeace. 



POPULAR tradition and a large number of the chroniclers 
ascribe the building of the Ducal Palace to that Filippo Calen- 
dario who suffered death for his share in the conspiracy of 
Faliero. He was certainly one of the leading architects of the 
time, and had for several years the superintendence of the works 
of the Palace ; but it appears, from the documents collected by 
the Abbe Cadorin, that the first designer of the Palace, the man 
to whom we owe the adaptation of the Frari traceries to civil 
architecture, was Pietro Baseggio, who is spoken of expressly as 
"formerly the Chief Master of our New Palace,"* in the decree 
of 1361, quoted by Cadorin, and who, at his death, left Calen- 
dario his executor. Other documents collected by Zanotto, in 
his work on " Venezia e le sue Lagune," show that Calendario 
was for a long time at sea, under the commands of the Signory, 
returning to Venice only three or four years before his death; 
and that therefore the entire management of the works of the 
Palace, in the most important period, must have been entrusted 
to Baseggio. 

It is quite impossible, however, in the present state of the 
Palace, to distinguish one architect's work from another in the 
older parts; and I have not in the text embarrassed the reader 
by any attempt at close definition of epochs before the great 
junction of the Piazzetta Fagade with the older palace in the 
fifteenth century. Here, however, it is necessary that I should 
briefly state the observations I was able to make on the relative 
dates of the earlier portions. 

* " Olim magistri protki palatii nostri novi." Cadorin, p. 127. 

200 APPENDIX, 1. 

In the description of the Fig-tree angle, g^ven in the eighth 
chapter of Vol. II., I said that it seemed to me somewhat earlier 
than that of the Vine, and the reader might be surprised at the 
apparent opposition of this statement to my supposition that the 
Palace was built gradually round from the Rio Facade to the 
Piazzetta. But in the two great open arcades there is no suc- 
cession of work traceable ; from the Vine angle to the junction! 
with the fifteenth century work, above and below, all seems 
nearly of the same date, the only question being of the acciden- 
tal precedence of workmanship of one capital or another; and I 
think, from its style, that the Fig-tree angle must have been 
first completed. But in the upper stories of the Palace there- 
are enormous differences of style. On the Rio Fagade, in the- 
upper story, are several series of massive windows of the third 
order, corresponding exactly in mouldings and manner of work- 
manship to those of the chapter-house of the Frari, and conse- 
quently carrying us back to a very early date in the fourteenth 
century : several of the capitals of these windows, and two 
richly sculptured string-courses in the wall below, are of Byzan- 
tine workmanship, and in all probability fragments of the Ziani 
Palace. The traceried windows on the Rio Facade, and the two 
eastern windows on the Sea Facade, are all of the finest early 
fourteenth century work, masculine and noble in their capitals 
and bases to the highest degree, and evidently contemporary 
with the very earliest portions of the lower arcades. But the 
moment we come to the windows of the Great Council Chamber 
the style is debased. The mouldings are the same, but they are 
coarsely worked, and the heads set amidst the leafage of the 
capitals quite valueless and vile. 

I have not the least doubt that these window-jambs and 
traceries were restored after the great fire ;* and various other 
restorations have taken place since, beginning with the removal 
<>f the traceries from all the windows except the northern one 
of the Sala del Scrutinio, behind the Porta della Carta, where 
they are still left. I made out four periods of restoration among 

* A print, dated 1585, barbarously inaccurate, as all prints were at that 
time, but still in some respects to be depended upon, represents all the win- 
dows on the facade full of traceries; and the circles above, between them, 
occupied by quatrefoils. 

APPENDIX, 1. 201 

these windows, each baser than the preceding. It is not worth 
troubling the reader about them, but the traveller who is inter- 
ested in the subject may compare two of them in the same win- 
dow ; the one nearer the sea of the two belonging to the little 
room at the top of the Palace on the Piazzetta Fagade, between 
the Sala del Gran Consiglio and that of the Scrutinio. The sea- 
ward jamb of that window is of the first, and the opposite jamb 
of the second, period of these restorations. These are all the 
points of separation in date which I could discover by internal 
evidence. But much more might be made out by any Venetian 
antiquary whose time permitted him thoroughly to examine any 
existing documents which allude to or describe the parts of the 
Palace spoken of in the important decrees of 1340, 1342, and 
1344 ; for the first of these decrees speaks of certain "columns 
looking towards the Canal " * or sea, as then existing, and I 
presume these columns to have been part of the Ziani Palace, 
corresponding to the part of that palace oh the Piazzetta where 
were the " red columns" between which Calendario was executed; 
and a great deal more might be determined by any one who 
would thoroughly unravel the obscure language of those decrees. 

Meantime, in order to complete the evidence respecting the 
main dates stated in the text, I have collected here such notices 
of the building of the Ducal Palace as appeared to me of 
most importance in the various chronicles I examined. I could 
not give them all in the text, as they repeat each other, and 
would have been tedious; but they will be interesting to the 
antiquary, and it is to be especially noted in all of them how the 
Palazzo VeccJiio is invariably distinguished, either directly or by 
implication, from the Palazzo Nuovo. I shall first translate the 
piece of the Zancarol Chronicle given by Cadorin, which has 
chiefly misled the Venetian antiquaries. I wish I could put the 
rich old Italian into old English, but must be content to lose its 
raciness, as it is necessary that the reader should be fully ac- 
quainted with its facts. 

" It was decreed that none should dare to propose to the 
Signory of Venice to ruin the old palace and rebuild it new and 
more richly, and there was a penalty of one thousand ducats 

* " Lata tanto, quantum est ambulum existens super columnis versus 
canale respicientibus. " 

2 2 APPENDIX, 1. 

against any one who should break it. Then the Doge, wishing 
to set forward the public good, said to the Signory, . . 
that they ought to rebuild the facades of the old palace, and 
that it ought to be restored, to do honor to the nation: and so 
soon as he had done speaking, the Avogadori demanded the 
penalty from the Doge, for having disobeyed the law ; and the 
Doge with ready mind paid it, remaining in his opinion that 
the said fabric ought to be built. And so, in the year 1422, on 
the 20th day of September, it was passed in the Council of the 
Pregadi that the said new palace should be begun, and the ex- 
pense should be borne by the Signori del Sal; and so, on the 
24th day of March, 1424, it was begun to throw down the old 
palace, and to build it anew." Cadorin, p. 129. 

The day of the month, and the council in which the decree 
was passed, are erroneously given by this Chronicle. Cadorin 
has printed the words of the decree itself, which passed in the 
Great Council on the 27th September : and these words are, 
fortunately, much to our present purpose. For as more than 
one facade is spoken of in the above extract, the Marchese Sel- 
vatico was induced to believe that both the front to the sea and 
that to the Piazzetta had been destroyed ; whereas, the " facades" 
spoken of are evidently those of the Ziani Palace. For the 
words of the decree (which are much more trustworthy than 
those of the Chronicle, even if there were any inconsistency be- 
tween them) run thus : " Palatium nostrum fabricetur et fiat in 
forma decora et convenienti, quod respondeat solemnissimo prin- 
cipio palatii nostri novi." Thus the new council chamber and 
facade to the sea are called the " most venerable beginning of 
our New Palace ;" and the rest was ordered to be designed in 
accordance with these, as was actually the case as far as the 
Porta della Carta. But the Renaissance architects who thence- 
forward proceeded with the fabric, broke through the design, 
and built everything else according to their own humors. 

The question may be considered as set at rest by these words 
of the decree, even without any internal or any farther docu- 
mentary evidence. But rather for the sake of impressing the 
facts thoroughly on the reader's mind, than of any additional 
proof, I shall quote a few more of the best accredited Chron- 

APPENDIX, 1. 203 

The passage given by Bettio, from the Sivos Chronicle, is a 
yery important parallel with that from the Zancarol above : 

"Essendo molto vecchio, e quasi rovinoso el Palazzo sopra la 
piazza, fo deliberate di far quella parte tutta da novo, et contin- 
uarla com' e quella della Sala grande, et cosi il Lunedi 27 Marzo 
1424 fu dato principio a ruinare detto Palazzo vecchio dalla 
parte, ch' e verso panateria cioe della Giustizia, ch' e nelli occhi 
di sopra le colonne fino alia Chiesa et f o fatto anco la porta 
grande, com' e al presente, con la sala che si addimanda la 

We have here all the facts told us in so many words : the 
" old palace" is definitely stated to have been " on the piazza," 
and it is to be rebuilt "like the part of the great saloon." The 
very point from which the newer buildings commenced is told 
us ; but here the chronicler has carried his attempt at accuracy 
too far. The point of junction is, as stated above, at the third 
pillar beyond the medallion of Venice ; and I am much at a loss 
to understand what could have been the disposition of these 
three pillars where they joined the Ziani Palace, and how they 
were connected with the arcade of the inner cortile. But with 
these difficulties, as they do not bear on the immediate question, 
it is of no use to trouble the reader. 

The next passage I shall give is from a Chronicle in the Mar- 
cian Library, bearing title, " Supposta di Zancaruol ;" but in 
which I could not find the passage given by Cadorin from, I be- 
lieve, a manuscript of this Chronicle at Vienna. There occurs 
instead of it the following thus headed : 

" Come la parte nova del Palazzo fuo hedificata novamente. 

"El Palazzo novo de Venesia quella parte che xe verso la 
Chiesia de S. Marcho fuo prexo chel se fesse del 1422 e fosse 
pagado la spexa per li officiali del sal. E fuo fatto per sovra- 
stante G. Nicolo Barberigo cum provision de ducati X doro al 
mexe e fuo fabricado e fatto nobelissimo. Come fin ancho di el 
sta e fuo grande honor a la Signoria de Venesia e a la sua Citta. " 

This entry, which itself bears no date, but comes between 
others dated 22d July and 27th December, is interesting, be- 
cause it shows the first transition of the idea of newness, from 

* Bettio, p. 28. 

204 APPENDIX, 1. 

the Grand Council Chamber to the part built under Foscari, 
For when Mocenigo's wishes had been fulfilled, and the old 
palace of Ziani hud been destroyed, and another built in its 
stead, the Great Council Chamber, which was "the new palace" 
compared with Ziani's, became " the old palace" compared with 
Foscari's ; and thus we have, in the body of the above extract, 
the whole building called "the new palace of Venice ;" but in 
the heading of it, we have " the new part of the palace" applied 
to the part built by Foscari, in contradistinction to the Council 

The next entry I give is important, because the writing of 
the MS. in which it occurs, No. 53 in the Correr Museum, 
shows it to be probably not later than the end of the fifteenth 
century : 

"El palazo nuovo de Venixia zoe quella parte che se sora la 
piazza verso la giesia di Miss. San Marcho del 1422 fo princi- 
piado, el qual fo fato e finito molto belo, chome al presente se 
vede nobilissimo, et a la fabricha de quello fo deputado Miss. 
Nicolo Barberigo, soprastante con ducati dieci doro al mexe." 

We have here the part built by Foscari distinctly called the 
Palazzo Nuovo, as opposed to the Great Council Chamber, 
which had now completely taken the position of the Palazzo 
Vecchio, and is actually so called by Sansovino. In the copy of 
the Chronicle of Paolo Morosini, and in the MSS. numbered re- 
spectively 57, 59, 74, and 76 in the Correr Museum, the pas- 
sage above given from No. 53 is variously repeated with slight 
modifications and curtailments ; the entry in the Morosini 
Chronicle being headed, "Come fu principiato il palazo che 
guarda sopra la piaza grande di S. Marco," and proceeding in 
the words, " El Palazo Nuovo di Yenetia, cioe quella parte che 
e sopra la piaza," &c., the writers being cautious, in all these in- 
-t:mces, to limit their statement to the part facing the Piazza, 
that no reader might suppose the Council Chamber to have been 
built or begun at the same time ; though, as Jong as to the end 
of the sixteenth century, we find the Council Chamber still in- 
cluded in the expression "Palazzo Nuovo." Thus, in the MS. 
No. 75 in the Correr Museum, which is about that date, we 
have "Del 1422, a di 20 Settembre fu preso nel consegio grando 
de dover compir el Palazo Novo, e dovesen fare la spessa li 

APPENDIX, 2. 205 

officialli del Sal (61. M. 2. B.)." And, so long as this is the 
case, the " Palazzo Vecchio" always means the Ziani Palace. 
Thus, in the next page of this same MS. we have " a di 27 
Marzo (1424 by context) fo principia a butar zosso, el Palazzo 
Vecchio per refarlo da novo, e poi se he" (and so it is done); 
and in the MS. No. 81, "Del 1424, fo gittado zoso el Palazzo 
Vecchio per refarlo de nuovo, a di 27 Marzo." But in the 
time of Sansovmo the Ziani Palace was quite forgotten; the 
Council Chamber was then the old palace, and Foscari's part, 
was the new. His account of the " Palazzo Publico" will now 
be perfectly intelligible; but, as the work itself is easily accessi- 
ble, I shall not burden the reader with any farther extracts, 
only noticing that the chequering of the faqade with red and 
white marbles, which he ascribes to Foscari, may or may not be 
of so late a date, as there is nothing in the style of the work 
vyhich can be produced as evidence. 


The following analysis of the first books of the "Faerie 
Queen," may be interesting to readers who have been in the 
habit of reading the noble poem too hastily to connect its parts 
completely together ; and may perhaps induce them to more 
careful study of the rest of the poem. 

The Redcrosse Knight is Holiness, the "Pietas" of St. 
Mark's, the "Devotio" of Orcagna, meaning, I think, in gen- 
eral, Reverence and Godly Fear. 

This Virtue, in the opening of the book, has Truth (or Una) 
at its side, but presently enters the Wandering Wood, and en- 
counters the serpent Error ; that is to say, Error in her univer- 
sal form, the first enemy of Reverence and Holiness ; and more 
especially Error as founded on learning , for when Holiness 
strangles her, 

"Her vomit full ofbookes and papers was, 
With loathly frogs and toades, which eyes did lacke." 

Having vanquished this first open and palpable form of 
Error, as Reverence and Religion must always vanquish it, the 
Knight encounters Hypocrisy, or Archimagus : Holiness cannot 

206 APPENDIX, 2. 

detect Hypocrisy, but believes him, and goes home with him; 
whereupon Hypocrisy succeeds in separating Holiness from 
Truth ; and the Knight (Holiness) and Lady (Truth) go forth 
separately from the house of Archimagus. 

Now observe : the moment Godly Fear, or Holiness, is sep- 
arated from Truth, he meets Infidelity, or the Knight Sans 
Foy; Infidelity having Falsehood, or Dues a, riding behind 
him. The instant the Redcrosse Knight is aware of the attack 
of Infidelity, he 

" Gan fairly couch his speare, and towards ride." 

He vanquishes and slays Infidelity ; but is deceived by his 
companion, Falsehood, and takes her for his lady : thus show- 
ing the condition of Religion, when, after being attacked by 
Doubt, and remaining victorious, it is nevertheless seduced, by 
any form of Falsehood, to pay reverence where it ought not. 
This, then, is the first fortune of Godly Fear separated from 
Truth. The poet then returns to Truth, separated from 
Godly Fear. She is immediately attended by a lion, or Vio- 
lence, which makes her dreaded wherever she comes ; and 
when she enters the mart of Superstition, this Lion tears 
Kirkrapine in pieces: showing how Truth, separated from God- 
liness, does indeed put an end to the abuses of Superstition, 
but does so violently and desperately. She then meets again 
with Hypocrisy, whom she mistakes for her own lord, or Godly 
Fear, and travels a little way under his guardianship (Hypocrisy 
thus not unfrequently appearing to defend the Truth), until 
they are both met by Lawlessness, or the Knight Sans Loy, 
whom Hypocrisy cannot resist. Lawlessness overthrows Hypoc- 
risy, and seizes upon Truth, first slaying her lion attendant : 
showing that the first aim of licence is to destroy the force and 
authority of Truth. Sans Loy then takes Truth captive, and 
bears her away. Now this Lawlessness is the " unrighteous- 
ness," or "adikia," of St. Paul; and his bearing Truth away 
captive, is a type of those " who hold the truth in unrighteous- 
ness," that is to say, generally, of men who, knowing what is 
true, make the truth give way to their own purposes, or use it 
only to forward them, as is the case with so many of the popu- 
lar leaders of the present day. Una is then delivered from Sans 

APPENDIX, 2. 20? 

Loy by the satyrs, to show that Nature, in the end, must work 
out the deliverance of the truth, although, where it has been 
captive to Lawlessness, that deliverance can only be obtained 
through Savageness, and a return to barbarism. Una is then 
taken from among the satyrs by Satyrane, the son of a satyr and 
a "lady myld, fair Thyamis," (typifying the early steps of re- 
newed civilization, and its rough and hardy character " nousled 
up in life and manners wilde,") who, meeting again with Sans 
Loy, enters instantly into rough and prolonged combat with 
him : showing how the early organization of a hardy nation 
must be wrought out through much discouragement from Law- 
lessness. This contest the poet leaving for the time undecided, 
returns to trace the adventures of the Redcrosse Knight, or 
Godly Fear, who, having vanquished Infidelity, presently is led 
by Falsehood to the house of Pride: thus showing how religion, 
separated from truth, is first tempted by doubts of God, and 
then by the pride of life. The description of this house of 
Pride is one of the most elaborate and noble pieces in the poem; 
and here we begin to get at the proposed system of Virtues and 
Vices. For Pride, as queen, has six other vices yoked in her 
chariot ; namely, first, Idleness, then Gluttony, Lust, Avarice, 
Envy, and Anger, all driven on by "Sathan, with a smarting 
whip in hand." From these lower vices and their company, 
Godly Fear, though lodging in the house of Pride, holds aloof ; 
but he is challenged, and has a hard battle to fight with Sans 
Joy, the brother of Sans Foy : showing, that though he has 
conquered Infidelity, and does not give himself up to the allure- 
ments of Pride, he is yet exposed, so long as he dwells in her 
house, to distress of mind and loss of his accustomed rejoicing 
before God. He, however, having partly conquered Despond- 
ency, or Sans Joy, Falsehood goes down to Hades, in order to 
obtain drugs to maintain the power or life of Despondency; 
but, meantime, the Knight leaves the house of Pride : False- 
hood pursues and overtakes him, and finds him by a fountaiu 
side, of which the waters are 

' ' Dull and slow, 
And all that drinke thereof do faint and feeble grow." 

Of which the meaning is, that Godly Fear, after passing through 
the house of Pride, is exposed to drowsiness and feebleness of 

;0(lS APPENDIX, 2. 

watch; as, after Peter's boast, came Peter's sleeping, from 
weakness of the flesh, and then, last of all, Peter's fall. And so 
it follows : for the Redcrosse Knight, being overcome with faint- 
ness by drinking of the fountain, is thereupon attacked by the 
giant Orgoglio, overcome and thrown by him into a dungeon. 
This Orgoglio is Orgueil, or Carnal Pride; not the pride of life, 
spiritual and subtle, but the common and vulgar pride in the 
power of this world: and his throwing the Redcrosse Knight 
into a dungeon, is a type of the captivity of true religion under 
the temporal power of corrupt churches, more especially of the 
hurch of Rome ; and of its gradually wasting away in un- 
known places, while carnal pride has the preeminence over all 
things. That Spenser means, especially, the pride of the 
Papacy, is shown by the 16th stanza of the book ; for there the 
giant Orgoglio is said to have taken Duessa, or Falsehood, for 
his " deare," and to have set upon her head a triple crown, and 
endowed her with royal majesty, and made her to ride upon a 
.seven-headed beast. 

In the meantime, the dwarf, the attendant of the Redcrosse 
Knight, takes his arms, and finding Una tells her of the captiv- 
ity of her lord. Una, in the midst of her mourning, meets 
Prince Arthur, in whom, as Spenser himself tells us, is set forth 
generally Magnificence; but who, as is shown by the choice of 
the hero's name, is more especially the magnificence, or literally, 
"great doing" of the kingdom of England. This power of 
England, going forth with Truth, attacks Orgoglio, or the 
Pride of Papacy, slays him ; strips Duessa, or Falsehood, naked; 
and liberates the Redcrosse Knight. The magnificent and well- 
known description of Despair follows, by whom the Redcrosse 
Knight is hard bested, on account of his past errors and cap- 
tivity, and is only saved by Truth, who, perceiving him to be 
still feeble, brings him to the house of Crelia, called, in the ar- 
gument of the canto, Holiness, but properly, Heavenly Grace, 
the mother of the Virtues. Her "three daughters, well up- 
l>n>ught," are Faith, Hope, and Charity. Her porter is Hu- 
mility ; because Humility opens the door of Heavenly Grace. 
Zeal and Reverence are her chamberlains, introducing the new 
comers to her presence; her groom, or servant, is Obedience; 
.and her physician, Patience. Under the commands of Charity, 

APPENDIX, 3. 209 

the matron Mercy rules over her hospital, under whose care the 
Knight is healed of his sickness ; and it is to be especially 
noticed how much importance Spenser, though never ceasing to 
chastise all hypocrisies and mere observances of form, attaches 
to true and faithful penance in effecting this cure. Having his 
strength restored to him, the Knight is trusted to the guidance 
of Mercy, who, leading him forth by a narrow and thorny way, 
first instructs him in the seven works of Mercy, and then leads 
him to the hill of Heavenly Contemplation ; whence, having a 
sight of the New Jerusalem, as Christian of the Delectable 
Mountains, he goes forth to the final victory over Satan, the old 
serpent, with which the book closes. 


I cannot close these volumes without expressing my astonish- 
ment and regret at the facility with which the English allow 
themselves to be misled by any representations, however openly 
groundless or ridiculous, proceeding from the Italian Liberal 
party, respecting the present administration of the Austrian 
Government. I do not choose here to enter into any political 
discussion, or express any political opinion ; but it is due to 
justice to state the simple facts which came under my notice 
during my residence in Italy. I was living at Venice through 
two entire winters, and in the habit of familiar association both 
with Italians and Austrians, my own antiquarian vocations ren- 
dering such association possible without exciting the distrust of 
cither party. During this whole period, I never once was able 
to ascertain, from any liberal Italian, that he had a single 
definite ground of complaint against the Government. There 
was much general grumbling and vague discontent; but I never 
was able to bring one of them to the point, or to discover what 
it was that they wanted, or in what way they felt themselves 
injured ; nor did I ever myself witness an instance of oppression 
on the part of the Government, though several of much kind- 
ness and consideration. The indignation of those of my own 
countrymen and countrywomen whom I happened to see during 
their sojourn in Venice was always vivid, but by no means large 
in its grounds. English ladies on their first arrival invariably 

210 APPENDIX, 3. 

began the conversation with the same remark : " What a dread- 
ful thing it was to be ground under the iron heel of despotism!" 
Upon closer inquiries it always appeared that being "ground 
under the heel of despotism" was a poetical expression for being 
asked for one's passport at San Juliano, and required to fetch it 
from San Lorenzo, full a mile and a quarter distant. In like 
manner, travellers, after two or three days' residence in the city, 
used to return with pitiful lamentations over "the misery of the 
Kalian people." Upon inquiring what instances they had met 
with of this misery, it invariably turned out that their gondo- 
liers, after being paid three times their proper fare, had asked 
for something to drink, and had attributed the fact of their 
being thirsty to the Austrian Government. The misery of the 
Italians consists in having three festa days a week, and doing 
in their days of exertion about one fourth as much work as an 
English laborer. 

There is, indeed, much true distress occasioned by the meas- 
ures which the Government is sometimes compelled to take in 
order to repress sedition; but the blame of this lies with those 
whose occupation is the excitement of sedition. So also there is 
much grievous harm done to works of art by the occupation of 
the country by so large an army ; but for the mode in which 
that army is quartered, the Italian municipalities are answerable, 
not the Austrians. Whenever I was shocked by finding, as 
above-mentioned at Milan, a cloister, or a palace, occupied by 
soldiery, I always discovered, on investigation, that the place 
had been given by the municipality ; and that, beyond requiring 
that lodging for a certain number of men should be found in 
such and such a quarter of the town, the Austrians had nothing 
to do with the matter. This does not, however, make the mis- 
chief less : and it is strange, if we think of it, to see Italy, with 
all her precious works of art, made a continual battle-field; as 
if no other place for settling their disputes could be found by 
the European powers, than where every random shot may de- 
stroy what a king's ransom cannot restore.* It is exactly as if 

* In the bombardment of Venice in 1848, hardly a single palace escaped 
without three or four balls through its roof : three came into the Scuola di 
San Rocco, tearing their way through the pictures of Tintoret, of which 
the ragged fragments were still hanging from the ceiling in 1851 ; and the 

APPENDIX, 4. 211 

the tumults in Paris could be settled no otherwise than by fight- 
ing them out in the Gallery of the Louvre. 


In the sixth article of the Appendix to the first volume, the 
question of the date of the Casa Dario and Casa Trevisan was 
deferred until I could obtain from my friend Mr. Rawdon 
Brown, to whom the former palace once belonged, some more 
distinct data respecting this subject than I possessed myself. 

Speaking first of the Casa Dario, he says : "Fontana dates 
it from about the year 1450, and considers it the earliest speci- 
men of the architecture founded by Pietro Lombardo, and fol- 
lowed by his sons, Tullio and Antonio. In a Sanuto autograph 
miscellany, purchased by me long ago, and which I gave to St. 
Mark's Library, are two letters from Giovanni Dario, dated 10th 
and llth July, 1485, in the neighborhood of Adrianople ; where 
the Turkish camp found itself, and Bajazet II. received presents 
from the Soldan of Egypt, from the Schah of the Indies (query 
Grand Mogul), and from the King of Hungary: of these mat- 
ters, ,Dario's letters give many curious details. Then, in the 
printed Malipiero Annals, page 136 (which err, I think, by a 
year), the Secretary Dario's negotiations at the Porte are alluded 
to; and in date of 1484 he is stated to have returned to Venice, 
having quarrelled with the Venetian bailiff at Constantinople: 
the annalist adds, that ' Giovanni Dario was a native of Candia, 
and that the Republic was so well satisfied with him for having 
concluded peace with Bajazet, .that he received, as a gift from his 
country, .an estate at Noventa, in the Paduan territory, worth 
1500 ducats, and 600 ducats in cash for the dower of one of his 
daughters/ These largesses probably enabled him to build his 
house about the year 1486, and are doubtless hinted at in the 
inscription, which I restored A.D. 1837; it had no date, and 
ran thus, UBBIS . GENIO . JOANNES . DARIVS. In the Venetian 
history of Paolo Morosini, page 594, it is also mentioned, that 
Giovanni.Dario was, moreover, the Secretary who concluded the 

shells had reached to within a hundred yards of St. Mark's Church itself, 
at the time of the capitulation. 

:>l-> APPENDIX, 5. 

peace between Mahomet, the conqueror of Constantinople, and 
Venice, A.D. 1478; but, unless he build his house by proxy, 
that date has nothing to do with it ; and in my mind, the fact 
of the present, and the inscription, warrant one's dating it 1486, 
and not 1450. 

"The Trevisan-Cappello House, in Canonica, was once the 
property (A.D. 1578) of a Venetian dame, fond of cray-fish, ac- 
cording to a letter of hers in the archives, whereby she thanks 
one of her lovers for some which he had sent her from Treviso 
to Florence, of which she was then Grand Duchess. Her name 
has perhaps found its way into the English annuals. Did you 
ever hear of Bianca Cappello ? She bought that house of the 
Trevisana family, by whom Selva (in Cicognara) and Fontana 
(following Selva) say it was ordered of the Lombardi, at the 
commencement of the sixteenth century : but the inscription on 
its facade, thus, 


reminding one both of the Dario House, and of the words NON 
N'oiJis DOMINE inscribed on the facade of the Loredano Ven- 
dramin Palace at S. Marcuola (now the property of the Duchess 
of Berri), of which Selva found proof in the Vendramin Archives 
that it was commenced by Sante Lombardo, A.D. 1481, is in 
favor of its being classed among the works of the fifteenth 


In passing along the Kio del Palazzo the traveller ought 
especially to observe the base of the Eenaissance building, formed 
by alternately depressed and raised pyramids, the depressed por- 
tions being casts of the projecting ones, which are truncated on 
the summits. The work cannot be called rustication, for it is 
cut as sharply and delicately as a piece of ivory, but it thor- 
oughly answers the end which rustication proposes, and misses : 
it gives the base of the building a look of crystalline hardness, 
actually resembling, and that very closely, the appearance pre- 
sented by the fracture of a piece of cap quartz; while yet the 

APPENDIX, 6. 218 

light and shade of its alternate recesses and projections are so 
yaried as to produce the utmost possible degree of delight to 
the eye, attainable by a geometrical pattern so simple. Yet, 
with all this high merit, it is not a base which could be brought 
into general use. Its brilliancy and piquancy are here set off 
with exquisite skill by its opposition to mouldings, in the upper 
part of the building, of an almost effeminate delicacy, and its 
complexity is rendered delightful by its contrast with the ruder 
bases of the other buildings of the city ; but it would look 
meagre if it were employed to sustain bolder masses above, and 
would become wearisome if the eye were once thoroughly famil- 
iarized with it by repetition. 


The following extracts from the letter of Count Charles 
Morosini, above mentioned, appear to set the question at rest. 

"It is our unhappy destiny that, during the glory of the 
Venetian republic, no one took the care to leave us a faithful 
and conscientious history : but I hardly know whether this mis- 
fortune should be laid to the charge of the historians themselves, 
or of those commentators who have destroyed their trustworthi- 
ness by new accounts of things, invented by themselves. As for 
the poor Morosini, we may perhaps save his honor by assembling 
a conclave of our historians, in order to receive their united 
sentence; for, in this case, he would have the absolute majority 
on his side, nearly all the authors bearing testimony to his love 
for his country and to the magnanimity of his heart. I must 
tell you that the history of Daru is not looked upon with esteem 
by well-informed men; and it is said that he seems to have no 
other object in view than to obscure the glory of all actions. I 
know not on what authority the English writer depends ; but 

he has, perhaps, merely copied the statement of Daru 

I have consulted an ancient and authentic MS. belonging to the 
Venieri family, a MS. well known, and certainly better worthy 
of confidence than Daru's history, and it says nothing of M. 
Morosini but that he was elected Doge to the delight and joy of 
all men. Neither do the Savina or Dolfin Chronicles say a word 
of the shameful speculation; and our best informed men say 

214 APPENDIX, 7. 

that the reproach cast by some historians against the Doge per- 
haps arose from a mistaken interpretation of the words pro- 
nounced by him, and reported by Marin Sanuto, that ' the spec- 
ulation would sooner or later have been advantageous to the 
country.' But this single consideration is enough to induce us 
to form a favorable conclusion respecting the honor of this man, 
namely, that he was not elected Doge until after he had been 
entrusted with many honorable embassies to the Genoese and 
Carrarese, as well as to the King of Hungary and Amadeus of 
Savoy; and if in these embassies he had not shown himself a 
true lover of his country, the republic not only would not again 
have entrusted him witli offices so honorable, but would never 
have rewarded him with the dignity of Doge, therein' to succeed 
such a man as Andrea Contarini: and the war of Chioggiu, 
during which it is said that he tripled his fortune by specula- 
tions, took place during the reign of Contarini, 1379, 1380, 
while Morosini was absent on foreign embassies. " 


The following fragmentary notes on this subject have been 
set down at different times. I have been accidentally prevented 
from arranging them properly for publication, but there are one 
or two truths in them which it is better to express insufficiently 
than not at all. 

By a large body of the people of England and of Europe a 
man is called educated if he can write Latin verses and construe 
a Greek chorus. By some few more enlightened persons it is 
confessed that the construction of hexameters is not in itself an 
important end of human existence; but they say, that the gen- 
eral discipline which a course of classical reading gives to the 
intellectual powers, is the final object of our scholastical institu- 

But it seems to me, there is no small error even in this last 
and more philosophical theory. I believe, that what it is most 
honorable to know, it is also most profitable to learn; and that 
the science which it is the highest power to possess, it is also the 
best exercise to acquire. 

APPENDIX, 7. 215 

And if this be so, the question as to what should be the ma- 
teriel of education, becomes singularly simplified. It might be 
matter of dispute what processes have the greatest effect in de- 
veloping the intellect; but it can hardly be disputed what facts 
it is most advisable that a man entering into life should accu- 
rately know. 

I believe, in brief, that he ought to know three things: 
First. Where he is. 
Secondly. Where he is going. 
Thirdly. What he had best do, under those circumstances. 

First. Where he is. That is to say, what sort of a world he 
has got into; how large it is ; what kind of creatures live in it, 
and how; what it is made of, and what may be made of it. 

Secondly. Where he is going. That is to say, what chances 
or reports there are of any other world besides this; what seems 
to be the nature of that other world; and whether, for informa- 
tion respecting it, he had better consult the Bible, Koran, or 
Council of Trent. 

Thirdly. What he had best do under those circumstances. 
That is to say, what kind of faculties he possesses; what are the 
present state and wants of mankind; what is his place in 
society; and what are the readiest means in his power of attain- 
ing happiness and diffusing it. The man who knows these 
things, and who has had his will so subdued in the learning 
them, that he is ready to do what he knows he ought, I should 
call educated; and the man who knows them not, uneducated, 
though he could talk all the tongues of Babel. 

Our present European system of so-called education ignores, 
or despises, not one, nor the other, but all the three, of these 
great branches of human knowledge. 

First : It despises Natural History. Until within the last 
year or two, the instruction in the physical sciences given at 
Oxford consisted of a course of twelve or fourteen lectures on 
the Elements of Mechanics or Pneumatics, and permission to 
ride out to Shotover with the Professor of Geology. I do not 
know the specialties of the system pursued in the academies of 
the Continent; but their practical result is, that unless a man's 
natural instincts urge him to the pursuit of the physical sciences 
too strongly to be resisted, he enters into life utterly ignorant of 

216 APPENDIX, 7. 

them. I cannot, within my present limits, even so much as 
count the various directions in which this ignorance does evil. 
But the main mischief of it is, that it leaves the greater number 
of men without the natural food which God intended for their 
intellects. For one man who is fitted for the study of words, 
fifty are fitted for the study of things, and were intended to- 
have a perpetual, simple, and religious delight in watching the 
processes, or admiring the creatures, of the natural universe- 
Deprived of this source of pleasure, nothing is left to them but 
ambition or dissipation ; and the vices of the upper classes of 
Europe are, I believe, chiefly to be attributed to this single 

Secondly : It despises Religion. I do not say it despises 
" Theology," that is to say, Talk about God. But it despises 
"Religion;" that is to say, the "binding" or training to God's 
service. There is much talk and much teaching in all our 
academies, of which the effect is not to bind, but to loosen, the 
elements of religious faith. Of the ten or twelve young men 
who, at Oxford, were my especial friends, who sat with me 
under the same lectures on Divinity, or were punished with me 
for missing lecture by being sent to evening prayers,* four are 
now zealous Romanists, a large average out of twelve ; and 
while thus our own universities profess to teach Protestantism, 
and do not, the universities on the Continent profess to teach. 
Romanism, and do not, sending forth only rebels and infidels. 
During long residence on the Continent, I do not remember 
meeting with above two or three young men, who either believed 
in revelation, or had the grace to hesitate in the assertion of 
their infidelity. 

Whence, it seems to me, we may gather one of two things; 
either that there is nothing in any European form of religion so 
iv.-isonable or ascertained, as that it can be taught securely to 
our youth, or fastened in their minds by any rivets of proof 
which they shall not be able to loosen the moment they begin to 
think ; or else, that no means are taken to train them in such 
demonstrable creeds. 

It seems to me the duty of a rational nation to ascertain (and 

* A Mohammedan youth is punished, I believe, for such misdemeanors,. 
by bring kept away from prayers. 

APPENDIX, 7. 21?" 

to be at some pains in the matter) which of these suppositions is 
true; and, if indeed no proof can be given of any supernatural 
fact, or Divine doctrine, stronger than a youth just out of his 
teens can overthrow in the first stirrings of serious thought, to 
confess this boldly ; to get rid of the expense of an Establish- 
ment, and the hypocrisy of a Liturgy ; to exhibit its cathedrals 
as curious memorials of a by-gone superstition, and, abandoning 
all thoughts of the next world, to set itself to make the best it 
can of this. 

But if, on the other hand, there does exist any evidence by 
which the probability of certain religious facts may be shown, as 
clearly, even, as the probabilities of things not absolutely ascer- 
tained in astronomical or geological science, let this evidence be 
set before all our youth so distinctly, and the facts for which it 
appears inculcated upon them so steadily, that although it may 
be possible for the evil conduct of after life to efface, or for its 
earnest and protracted meditation to modify, the impressions of 
early years, it may not be possible for our young men, the in- 
stant they emerge from their academies, to scatter themselves 
like a flock of wild fowl risen out of a marsh, and drift away on 
every irregular wind of heresy and apostasy. 

Lastly : Our system of European education despises Politics. 
That is to say, the science of the relations and duties of men 
to each other. One would imagine, indeed, by a glance at the 
state of the world, that there was no such science. And, indeed, 
it is one still in its infancy. 

It implies, in its full sense, the knowledge of the operations 
of the virtues and vices of men upon themselves and society; 
the understanding of the ranks and offices of their intellectual 
and bodily powers in their various adaptations to art, science, 
and industry; the understanding of the proper offices of art, 
science, and labor themselves, as well as of the foundations of 
jurisprudence, and broad principles of commerce ; all this being 
coupled with practical knowledge of the present state and wants 
of mankind. 

What, it will be said, and is all this to be taught to school- 
boys ? No ; but the first elements of it, all that are necessary 
to be known by an individual in order to his acting wisely in 
any station of life, might be taught, not only to every school- 

218 APPENDIX, 7. 

boy, but to every peasant. The impossibility of equality among 
men ; the good which arises from their inequality ; the compen- 
sating circumstances in different states and fortunes; the honor- 
ableness of every man who is worthily filling his appointed place 
in society, however humble; the proper relations of poor and 
rich, governor and governed; the nature of wealth,, and mode 
of its circulation; the difference between productive and unpro- 
ductive labor; the relation of the products of the mind and 
hand ; the true value of works of the higher arts, and the possi- 
ble amount of their production; the meaning of " Civilization," 
its advantages and dangers ; the meaning of the term " Refine- 
ment ;" the possibilities of possessing refinement in a low station, 
and of losing it in a high one; and, above all, the significance 
of almost every act of a man's daily life, in its ultimate opera- 
tion upon himself and others; all this might be, and ought 
to be, taught to every boy in the kingdom, so completely, that 
it should be just as impossible to introduce an absurd or licen- 
tious doctrine among our adult population, as a new version of 
the multiplication table. Nor am I altogether without hope 
that some day it may enter into the heads of the tutors of our 
schools to try whether it is not as easy to make an Eton boy's 
mind as sensitive to falseness in policy, as his ear is at present 
to falseness in prosody. 

I know that this is much to hope. That English ministers 
of religion should ever come to desire rather to make a youth 
acquainted with the powers of nature and of God, than with 
the powers of Greek particles ; that they should ever think it 
more useful to show him how the great universe rolls upon its 
course in heaven, than how the syllables are fitted in a tragic 
metre ; that they should hold it more advisable for him to be 
fixed in the principles of religion than in those of syntax ; or, 
finally, that they should ever come to apprehend that a youth 
likely to go straight out of college into parliament, might not 
unadvisably know as much of the Peninsular as of the Pelopon- 
nesian War, and be as well acquainted with the state of Modern 
Italy as of old Etruria; all this however unreasonably, I do 
hope, and mean to work for. For though I have not yet aban- 
doned all expectation of a better world than this, I believe this 
in which we live is not so good as it might be. I know there are 

APPENDIX, 7. 219 

many people who suppose French revolutions, Italian insurrec- 
tions, Caffre wars, and such other scenic effects of modern 
policy, to be among the normal conditions of humanity. I 
know there are many who think the atmosphere of rapine, re- 
bellion, and misery which wraps the lower orders of Europe 
more closely every day, is as natural a phenomenon as a hot 
summer. But God forbid ! There are ills which flesh is heir 
to, and troubles to which man is born; but the troubles which 
he is born to are as sparks which fly upward, not as flames burn- 
ing to the nethermost Hell. The Poor we must have with us 
always, and sorrow is inseparable from any hour of life; but we 
may make their poverty such as shall inherit the earth, and the 
sorrow, such as shall be hallowed by the hand of the Comforter, 
with everlasting comfort. We can, if we will but shake off this 
lethargy and dreaming that is upon us, and take the pains to 
think and act like men, we can, I say, make kingdoms to be 
like well-governed households, in which, indeed, while no care 
or kindness can prevent occasional heart-burnings, nor any fore- 
sight or piety anticipate all the vicissitudes of fortune, or avert 
every stroke of calamity, yet the unity of their affection and 
fellowship remains unbroken, and their distress is neither em- 
bittered by division, prolonged by imprudence, nor darkened by 


The great leading error of modern times is the mistaking 
erudition for education. I call it the leading error, for I believe 
that, with little difficulty, nearly every other might be shown to 
have root in it ; and, most assuredly, the worst that are fallen 
into on the subject of art. 

Education then, briefly, is the leading human souls to what 
is best, and making what is best out of them ; and these two 
objects are always attainable together, and by the same means; 
the training which makes men happiest in themselves, also 
makes them most serviceable to others. True education, then, 
has respect, first to the ends which are proposable to the man, 
or attainable by him ; and, secondly, to the material of which 
the man is made. So far as it is able, it chooses the end accord- 
ing to the material : but it cannot always choose the end, for 
the position of many persons in life is fixed by necessity ; still 

j-jli APPENDIX, 7. 

U'ss can it choose the material ; and, therefore, all it can do, is 
to fit the one to the other as wisely as may be. 

But the first point to be understood, is that the material is 
M various as the ends ; that not only one man is unlike another, 
but every man is essentially different from every other, so that 
no training, no forming, nor informing, will ever make two 
persons alike in thought or in power. Among all men, whether 
of the upper or lower orders, the differences are eternal and ir- 
reconcilable, between one individual and another, born under 
absolutely the same circumstances. One man is made of agate, 
another of oak ; one of slate, another of clay. The education of 
the first is polishing ; of the second, seasoning ; of the third, 
rending ; of the fourth, moulding. It is of no use to season 
the agate ; it is vain to try to polish the slate ; but both are 
fitted, by the qualities they possess, for services in which they 
may be honored. 

Now the cry for the education of the lower classes, which is 
heard every day more widely and loudly, is a wise and a sacred 
cry, provided it be extended into one for the education of all 
classes, with definite respect to the work each man has to do, 
and the substance of which he is made. But it is a foolish and 
vain cry, if it be understood, as in the plurality of cases it is 
meant to be, for the expression of mere craving after knowledge, 
irrespective of the simple purposes of the life that now is, and 
blessings of that which is to come. 

One great fallacy into which men are apt to fall when they 
are reasoning on this subject is : that light, as such, is always 
good ; and darkness, as such, always evil. Far from it. Light 
untempered would be annihilation. It is good to them that sit 
in darkness and in the shadow of death ; but, to those that faint 
in the wilderness, so also is the shadow of the great rock in a 
\\cary land. If the sunshine is good, so also the cloud of the 
hitter rain. Light is only beautiful, only available for life, 
when it is tempered with shadow ; pure light is fearful, and un- 
endurable by humanity. And it is not less ridiculous to say 
that the light, as such, is good in itself, than to say that the 
darkness is good in itself. Both are rendered safe, healthy, 
and useful by the other ; the night by the day, the day by 
the night ; and we could just as easily live without the dawn 

APPENDIX, 7. 221 

as without the sunset, so long as we are human. Of the celes- 
tial city we are told there shall be "no night there," and then 
we shall know even as also we are known : but the night and 
the mystery have both their service here ; and our business is 
not to strive to turn the night into day, but to be sure that we 
are as they that watch for the morning. 

Therefore, in the education either of lower or upper classes, 
it matters not the least how much or how little they know, pro- 
vided they know just what will fit them to do their work, and 
to be happy in it. What the sum or the nature of their knowl- 
edge ought to be at a given time or in a given case, is a totally 
different question : the main thing to be understood is, that a 
man is not educated, in any sense whatsoever, because he can 
read Latin, or write English, or can behave well in a drawing- 
room ; but that he is only educated if he is happy, busy, benefi- 
cent, and effective in the world ; that millions of peasants are 
therefore at this moment better educated than most of those 
who call themselves gentlemen ; and that the means taken to 
"educate" the lower classes in any other sense may very often 
be productive of a precisely opposite result. 

Observe: I do not say, nor do I believe, that the lower classes 
ought not to be better educated, in millions of ways, than they 
are. I believe every man in a Christian kingdom ought to be 
equally well educated. But I would have it education to purpose; 
stern, practical, irresistible, in moral habits, in bodily strength 
and beauty, in all faculties of mind capable of being developed 
under the circumstances of the individual, and especially in the 
technical knowledge of His own business; but yet, infinitely vari- 
ous in its effort, directed to make one youth humble, and another 
confident; to tranquillize this mind, to put some spark of ambi- 
tion into that; now to urge, and now to restrain: and in the 
doing of all this, considering knowledge as one only out of myriads 
of means in its hands, or myriads of gifts at its disposal; and 
giving it or withholding it as a good husbandman waters his 
garden, giving the full shower only to the thirsty plants, and at 
times when they are thirsty, whereas at present we pour it upon 
the heads of our youth as the snow falls on the Alps, on one and 
another alike, till they can bear no more, and then take honor to 
ourselves because here and there a river descends from their 

222 APPENDIX, 8. 

crests into the valleys, not observing that we have made the 
loaded hills themselves barren for ever. 

Finally: I hold it for indisputable, that the first duty of a 
state is to see that every child born therein shall be well housed, 
clothed, fed, and educated, till it attain years of discretion. But 
in order to the effecting this, the government must have an 
authority over the people of which we now do not so much as 
dream; and I cannot in this place pursue the subject farther. 


Galliciolli, lib. ii. 1757, insinuates a doubt of the general 
custom, saying " it would be more reasonable to suppose that 
only twelve maidens were married in public on St. Mark's day;" 
and Sandi also speaks of twelve only. All evidence, however, 
is clearly in favor of the popular tradition; the most curious fact 
connected with the subject being the mention, by Herodotus, of 
the mode of marriage practised among the Illyrian " Veneti" of 
his time, who presented their maidens for marriage on one day 
in each year; and, with the price paid for those who were beau- 
tiful, gave dowries to those who had no personal attractions. 

It is very curious to find the traces of this custom existing, 
though in a softened form, in Christian times. Still, I admit 
that there is little confidence to be placed in the mere concur- 
rence of the Venetian Chroniclers, who, for the most part, copied 
from each other: but the best and most complete account I have 
read, is that quoted by Galliciolli from the " Matricola de' Cas- 
seleri," written in 1449; and, in that account, the words are 
quite unmistakable. " It was anciently the custom of Venice, 
that all the brides (novizze) of Venice, when they married, should 
be married by the bishop, in the Church of S. Pietro di Castello, 
on St. Mark's day, which is the 31st of January. Rogers quotes 
Navagiero to the same effect; and Sansovino is more explicit 
still. " It was the custom to contract marriages openly; and 
when the deliberations were completed, the damsels assembled 
themselves in St. Pietro di Castello, for the feast of St. Mary, in 



The following noble answer of a Venetian ambassador, Gius- 
tiniani, on the occasion of an insult offered him at the court of 
Henry the Eighth, is as illustrative of the dignity which there 
yet remained in the character and thoughts of the Venetian 
noble, as descriptive, in few words, of the early faith and deeds 
of his nation. He writes thus to the Doge, from London, on the 
15th of April, 1516: 

"By my last, in date of the 30th ult., I informed you that 
the countenances of some of these lords evinced neither friend- 
ship nor goodwill, and that much language had been used to me 
of a nature bordering not merely on arrogance, but even on 
outrage; and not having specified this in the foregoing letters, 
I think fit now to mention it in detail. Finding myself at the 
court, and talking familiarly about other matters, two lay lords, 
great personages in this kingdom, inquired of me ' whence it 
came that your Excellency was of such slippery faith, now favor- 
ing one party and then the other? ' Although these words 
ought to have irritated me, I answered them with all discretion, 
'that you did keep, and ever had kept your faith; the main- 
tenance of which has placed you in great trouble, and subjected 
you to wars of longer duration than you would otherwise have 
experienced; descending to particulars in justification of your 
Sublimity.' Whereupon one of them replied, ' Isti Veneti sunt 
piscatores. ' * Marvellous was the command I then had over 
myself in not giving vent to expressions which might have 
proved injurious to your Signory; and with extreme moderation 
I rejoined, ' that had he been at Venice, and seen our Senate, 
and the Venetian nobility, he perhaps would not speak thus; 
and moreover, were he well read in our history, both concerning 
the origin of our city and the grandeur of your Excellency's 
feats, neither the one nor the other would seem to him those 
of fishermen; yet,' said I, 'did fishermen found the Christian 
faith, and we have been those fishermen who defended it against 
the forces of the Infidel, our fishing-boats being galleys and 
ships, our hooks the treasure of St. Mark, and our bait the 
life-blood of our citizens, who died for the Christian faith.' " 

* ' ' Those Venetians are fishermen. " 


I take this most interesting passage from a volume of de- 
spatches addressed from London to the Signory of Venice, by the 
ambassador Giustiniani, during the years 1516-1519; despatches 
not only full of matters of historical interest, but of the most 
delightful every-day description of all that went on at the Eng- 
lish court. They were translated by Mr. Brown from the origi- 
nal letters, and will, I believe, soon be published, and I hope 
also, read and enjoyed: for I cannot close these volumes without 
expressing a conviction, which has long been forcing itself upon 
my mind, that restored history is of little more value than restored 
painting or architecture; that the only history worth reading is 
that written at the time of which it treats, the history of what 
was done and seen, heard out of the mouths of the men who did 
and saw. One fresh draught of such history is worth more than 
a thousand volumes of abstracts, and reasonings, and suppositions, 
and theories; and I believe that, as we get wiser, we shall take 
little trouble about the history of nations who have left no dis- 
tinct records of themselves, but spend our time only in the 
examination of the faithful documents which, in any period of 
the world, have been left, cither in the form of art or literature, 
portraying the scenes, or recording the events, which in those 
days were actually passing before the eyes of men. 


The statements respecting the dates of Venetian buildings 
made throughout the preceding pages, are founded, as above 
stated, on careful and personal examination of all the mouldings, 
or other features available as evidence, of every palace of impor- 
tance in the city. Three parts, at least, of the time occupied in 
the completion of the work have been necessarily devoted to the 
collection of these evidences, of which it would be quite useless 
to lay the mass before the reader; but of which the leading points 
must be succinctly stated, in order to show the nature of my 
authority for any of the conclusions expressed in the text. 

I have therefore collected in the plates which illustrate this 
article of the Appendix, for the examination of any reader who 
may be interested by them, as many examples of the evidence- 
1 -oaring details as are sufficient for the proof required, especially 
including all the exceptional forms; so that the reader may rest 



assured that if I had been able to lay before him all the evidence 
in my possession, it would have been still more conclusive than 
the portion now submitted to him. 

"We must examine in succession the Bases, Doorways and 
Jambs, Capitals, Archivolts, Cornices, and Tracery Bars, of 
Venetian architecture. 

I. Bases. 

The principal points we have to notice are the similarity and 
simplicity of the Byzantine bases in general, and the distinction 
between those of Torcello and Murano, and of St. Mark's, as 
tending to prove the early dates attributed in the text to the 
island churches. I have sufficiently illustrated the forms of the 
Gothic bases in Plates X., XI., and XIII. of the first volume, so 
that I here note chiefly the Byzantine or Eomanesque ones, 
adding two Gothic forms for the sake of comparison. 

The most characteristic examples, then, are collected in Plate 
V. opposite; namely: 

1, 2, 3, 4. In the upper gallery of apse of Murano. 

5. Lower shafts of apse. Murano. 

6. Casa Falier. 

7. Small shafts of panels. Casa Farsetti. 

8. Great shafts and plinth. Casa Farsetti. 

9. Great lower shafts. Fondaco de' Turchi. 
10. Ducal Palace, upper arcade. 

PLATE Y. 11. General late Gothic form. 

Vol. III. 12. Tomb of Dogaressa Vital Michele, in St. Mark's 

13. Upper arcade of Madonnetta House. 

14. Rio-Foscari House. 

15. Upper arcade. Terraced House. 

16. 17, 18. Nave. Torcello. 
19, 20. Transepts. St. Mark's. 

21. Nave. St. Mark's. 

22. External pillars of northern portico. St. Mark's. 

23. 24. Clustered pillars of northern portico. St. 


25, 26. Clustered pillars of southern portico. St. 


Now, observe, first, the enormous difference in style between 
the bases 1 to 5, and the rest in the upper row, that is to say, 
between the bases of Murano and the twelfth and thirteenth 
century bases of Venice; and, secondly, the difference between 
the bases 16 to 20 and the rest in the lower row, that is to say, 
between the bases of Torcello (with those of St. Mark's which 
belong to the nave, and which may therefore be supposed to be 
part of the earlier church), and the later ones of the St. Mark's 

Secondly: Note the fellowship between 5 and 6, one of the 
evidences of the early date of the Casa Falier. 

Thirdly: Observe the slurring of the upper roll into the 
cavetto, in 13, 14, and 15, and the consequent relationship 
established between three most important buildings, the Rio- 
Foscari House, Terraced House, and Madonnetta House. 

Fourthly: Byzantine bases, if they have an incision between 
the upper roll and cavetto, are very apt to approach the form of 
fig. 23, in which the upper roll is cut out of the flat block, and 
the ledge beneath it is sloping. Compare Nos. 7, 8, 9, 21, 22, 
23, 24, 25, 26. On the other hand, the later Gothic base, 11, 
has always its upper roll well developed, and, generally, the fillet 
between it and the cavetto vertical. The sloping fillet is indeed 
found down to late periods; and the vertical fillet, as in No. 12, 
in Byzantine ones; but still, when a base has such a sloping fillet 
and peculiarly graceful sweeping cavetto, as those of No. 10, 
looking as if they would run into one line with each other, it is 
strong presumptive evidence of its belonging to an early, rather 
than a late period. 

The base 12 is the boldest example I could find of the excep- 
tional form in early times; but observe, in this, that the upper 
roll is larger than the lower. This is never the case in late 
Gothic, where the proportion is always as in fig. 11. Observe 
that in Nos. 8 and 9 the upper rolls are at least as large as the 
lower, an important evidence of the dates of the Casa Farsetti 
and Fondaco de' Turchi. 

Lastly: Note the peculiarly steep profile of No. 22, with 
reference to what is said of this base in Vol. II. Appendix 9. 



//. Doorways and Jambs. 

The entrances to St. Mark's consist, as above mentioned, of 
great circular or ogee porches; underneath which the real open 
entrances, in which the valves of the bronze doors play, are 
square headed. 

The mouldings of the jambs 
of these doors are highly curious, 
and the most characteristic are 
therefore represented in one 
view. The outsides of the 
jambs are lowest. 

Northern lateral door. 
First northern door of the 


Second door of the facade. 
Fourth door of the faade. 
Central door of the facade. 


I wish the reader especially to note the arbitrary character of 
the curves and incisions; all evidently being drawn by hand, 
none being segments of circles, none like another, none influenced 
by any visible law. I do not give these mouldings as beautiful; 
they ara, for the most part, very poor in effect, but they are 
singularly characteristic of the free work of the time. 

The kind of door to which these mouldings belong, is shown, 
with the other groups of doors, in Plate XIV. Vol. II. fig. 6 a. 
Then 6 5, 6 c, 6 d represent the groups of doors in which the 
Byzantine influence remained energetic, admitting slowly the 
forms of the pointed Gothic; 7 a, with the gable above, is the 
intermediate group between the Byzantine and Gothic schools; 
7 b, 7 c, 7 d, 7 e are the advanced guards of the Gothic and Lom- 
bardic invasions, representative of a large number of thirteenth 
century arcades and doors. Observe that 6 d is shown to be of a 
late school by its finial, and C e of the latest school by its finial, 
complete ogee arch (instead of round or pointed), and aban- 
donment of the lintel. 

These examples, with the exception of 6 a, which is a general 
form, are all actually existing doors; namely: 

6 b. In the Fondamenta Venier, near St. Maria della Salute. 
6 c. In the Calle delle Botteri, between the Rialto and San 

6 d. Main door of San Gregorio. 

6 e. Door of a palace in Rio San Paternian. 

7 a. Door of a small courtyard near house of Marco Polo. 
7 #. Arcade in narrow canal, at the side of Casa Barbaro. 

7 c. At the turn of the canal, close to the Ponte dell' Angelo. 
7 d. In Rio San Paternian (a ruinous house). 
7 e. At the turn of the canal on which the Sotto Portico della 
Stua opens, near San Zaccaria. 

If the reader will take a magnifying glass to the figure 6 d, he 
will see that its square ornaments, of which, in the real door, 
each contains a rose, diminish to the apex of the arch; a very 
interesting and characteristic circumstance, showing the subtle 
feeling of the Gothic builders. They must needs diminish the 
ornamentation, in order to sympathize with the delicacy of the 
point of the arch. The magnifying glass will also show the 


Byzantine Jambs. 


Bondumieri shield in No. 7 d, and the Leze shield in No. 7 e, 
both introduced on the keystones in the grand early manner. 
The mouldings of these various doors will be noticed under the 
head Archivolt. 

Now, throughout the city we find a number of doors resem- 
bling the square doors of St. Mark, and occurring with rare ex- 
ceptions either in buildings of the Byzantine period, or imbedded 
in restored houses; never, in a single instance, forming a con- 
nected portion of any late building; and they therefore furnish 
a most important piece of evidence, wherever they are part of 
the original structure of a Gothic building, that such building is 
one of the advanced guards of the Gothic school, and belongs to 
its earliest period. 

On Plate VI., opposite, are assembled all the important ex- 
amples I could find in Venice of these mouldings. The reader 
will see at a glance their peculiar character, and unmistakable 
likeness to each other. The following are the references: 

1. Door in Calle Mocenigo. 

2. Angle of tomb of Dogaressa Vital Michel e. 

3. Door in Sotto Portico, St. Apollonia (near Ponte 

di Canonica): 

4. Door in Calle della Verona (another like it is close 


5. Angle of tomb of Doge Marino Morosini. 

6. 7. Door in Calle Mocenigo. 

8. Door in Campo S. Margherita. 

PLATE VI. 9. Door at Traghetto San Samuele, on south side of 
Vol. III. Grand Canal. 

10. Door at Ponte St. Toma. 

11. Great door of Church of Servi. 

12. In Calle della Chiesa, Campo San Filippo e 


13. Door of house in Calle di Kimedio (Vol. II.). 

14. Door in Fondaco de' Turchi. 

15. Door in Fondamenta Malcanton, near Campo S. 


16. Door in south side of Canna Heggio. 

17. 18. Doors in Sotto Portico dei Squellinl. 


The principal points to be noted in these mouldings are 
their curious differences of level, as marked by the dotted lines, 
more especially in 14, 15, 16, and the systematic projection of 
the outer or lower mouldings in 16, 17, 18. Then, as points of 
evidence, observe that 1 is the jamb and 6 the archivolt (7 the 
angle on a larger scale) of the brick door given in my folio work 
from Ramo di rimpetto Mocenigo, one of the evidences of the 
early date of that door; 8 is the jamb of the door in Campo 
Santa Margherita (also given in my folio work), fixing the early 
date of that also; 10 is from a Gothic door opening off the Ponte 
St. Toma; and 11 is also from a Gothic building. All the rest 
are from Byzantine work, or from ruins. The angle of the tomb 
of Marino Morosini (5) is given for comparison only. 

The doors with the mouldings 17, 18, are from the two ends 
of a small dark passage, called the Sotto Portico dei Squellini, 
opening near Ponte Cappello, on the Rio-Mariii: 14 is the outside 
one, arranged as usual, and at a, in the rough stone, are places 
for the staples of the door valve; 15, at the other end of the pas- 
sage, opening into the little Corte dei Squellini, is set with the 
part a outwards, it also having places for hinges; but it is curi- 
ous that the rich moulding should be set in towards the dark 
passage, though natural that the doors should both open one way. 

The next Plate, VII., will show the principal characters of 
the Gothic jambs, and the total difference between them and the 
Byzantine ones. Two more Byzantine forms, 1 and 2, are given 
here for the sake of comparison; then 3, 4, and 5 are the com- 
mon profiles of simple jambs of doors in the Gothic period; 6 is 
one of the jambs of the Frari windows, continuous .into the 
archivolt, and meeting the traceries, where the line is set upon 
it at the extremity of its main slope; 7 and 8 are jambs of the 
Ducal Palace windows, in which the great semicircle is the half 
shaft which sustains the traceries, and the rest of the profile is 
continuous in the archivolt; 17, 18, and 19 are the principal piers 
of the Ducal Palace; and 20, from St. Fermo of Verona, is put 
with them in order to show the step of transition from the By- 
zantine form 2 to the Gothic chamfer, which is hardly represented 
at Venice. The other profiles on the plate are all late Gothic, 
given to show the gradual increase of complexity without any 
gain of power. The open lines in 12, 14, 16, etc., are the parts 




u mm 


-Gothic Jambs. 


of the profile cut into flowers or cable mouldings; and so much 
incised as to show the constant outline of the cavetto or curve 
beneath them. The following are the references: 

1. Door in house of Marco Polo. 

2. Old door in a restored church of St. Cassan. 

3. 4, 5. Common jambs of Gothic doors. 

6. Frari windows. 

7, 8. Ducal Palace windows. 
9. Casa Priuli, great entrance. 

10. San Stefano, great door. 

PLATE VII. 11. San Gregorio, door opening to the water. 
Vol. III. 12. Lateral door, Frari. 

13. Door of Campo San Zaccaria. 

14. Madonna dell' Orto. 

15. San Gregorio, door in the fagade. 

16. Great lateral door, Frari. 

17. Pilaster at Vine angle, Ducal Palace. 

18. Pier, inner cortile, Ducal Palace. 

19. Pier, under the medallion of Venice, on the 

Piazetta faqade of the Ducal Palace. 

///. Capitals. 

I shall here notice the various facts I have omitted in the text 
of the work. 

First, with respect to the Byzantine Capitals represented in 
Plate VII. Vol. II., I omitted to notice that figs. 6 and 7 repre- 
sent two sides of the same capital at Murano (though one is 
necessarily drawn on a smaller scale than the other). Fig. 7 is 
the side turned to the light, and fig. 6 to the shade, the inner 
part, which is quite concealed, not being touched at all. 

We have here a conclusive proof that these capitals were cut 
for their place in the apse; therefore I have always considered 
them as tests of Venetian workmanship, and, on the strength of 
that proof, have occasionally spoken of capitals as of true Vene- 
tian work, which M. Lazari supposes to be of the Lower Empire. 
"No. 11, from St. Mark's, was not above noticed. The way in 
which the cross is gradually left in deeper relief as the sides slope 
inwards and away from it, is highly picturesque and curious. 


No. 9 has been reduced from a larger drawing, and some of 
the life and character of the curves lost in consequence. It is 
chiefly given to show the irregular and fearless freedom of the 
Byzantine designers, no two parts of the foliage being correspon- 
dent; in the original it is of white marble, the ground being 
colored blue. 

Plate X. Vol. II. represents the four principal orders of 
Venetian capitals in their greatest simplicity, and the profiles of 
the most interesting examples of each. The figures 1 and 4 
are the two great concave and convex groups, and 2 and 3 the 
transitional. Above each type of form I have put also an exam- 
ple of the group of flowers which represent it in nature: fig. 1 
has a lily ; fig. 2 a variety of the Tulipa sylvestris ; figs. 3 and 
4 forms of the magnolia. I prepared this plate in the early 
spring, when I could not get any other examples,* or I would 
rather have had two different species for figs. 3 and 4 ; but the 
half -open magnolia will answer the purpose, showing the beauty 
of the triple curvature in the sides. 

I do not say that the forms of the capitals are actually taken 
from flowers, though assuredly so in some instances, and par- 
tially so in the decoration of nearly all. But they were designed 
by men of pure and natural feeling for beauty, who therefore 
instinctively adopted the forms represented, which are after- 
wards proved to be beautiful by their frequent occurrence in 
common flowers. 

The convex forms, 3 and 4, are put lowest in the plate only 
because they are heaviest; they are the earliest in date, and have 
already been enough examined. 

I have added a plate to this volume (Plate XII.), which 
should have appeared in illustration of the fifth chapter of Vol. 
II., but was not finished in time. It represents the central capi- 
tal and two of the lateral ones of the Fondaco de' Turchi, the 
central one drawn very large, in order to show the excessive 
-implicity of its chiselling, together with the care and sharpness 
of it, each leaf being expressed by a series of sharp furrows and 

* I am afraid that the kind friend, Lady Trevelyan, who helped me to 
finish Ihi8 plate, will not like to be thanked here ; but I cannot let her send 
into Devonshire for magnolias, and draw them for me, without thanking 


ridges. Some slight errors in the large tracings from which the 
engraving was made have, however, occasioned a loss of spring 
in the curves, and the little fig. 4 of Plate X. Vol. II. gives a 
truer idea of the distant effect of the capital. 

The profiles given in Plate X. Vol. II. are the following : 

1. 0. Main capitals, upper arcade, Madonnetta House. 

b. Main capitals, upper arcade, Casa Falier. 

c. Lateral capitals, upper arcade, Fondaco de' Tur- 


d. Small pillars of St. Mark's Pulpit. 

e. Casa Farsetti. 

/. Inner capitals of arcade of Ducal Palace. 

g. Plinth of the house* at Apostoli. 

k. Main capitals of house at Apostoli. 

i. Main capitals, upper arcade, Fondaco de' Turchi.. 

a. Lower arcade, Fondaco de' Turchi. 

b, c. Lower pillars, house at Apostoli. 
d. San Simeon Grande. 

PLATE X. e. Restored house on Grand Canal. Three of the 
VOL. II. 2. old arches left. 

/. Upper arcade, Ducal Palace. 
g. Windows of third order, central shaft, Ducal Pal- 

h. Windows of third order, lateral shaft, Ducal Pal- 

*. Ducal Palace, main shafts. 
k. Piazzetta shafts. 
3. a. St. Mark's Nave. 

by c. Lily capitals, St. Mark's. 

a. Fondaco de' Turchi, central shaft, upper arcade. 

b. Murano, upper arcade. 

c. Murano, lower arcade. 

d. Tomb of St. Isidore. 

e. General late Gothic profile. 

* That is, the house in the parish of the Apostoli, on the Grand Canal, 
noticed in Vol. II. ; and see also the Venetian Index, under head " Apos- 


The last two sections are convex in effect, though not in real- 
ity; the bulging lines being carved into bold flower- work. 

The capitals belonging to the groups 1 and 2, in the Byzan- 
tine times, have already been illustrated in Plate VIII. Vol. II. ; 
we have yet to trace their succession in the Gothic times. This 
is done in Plate II. of this volume, which we will now examine 
carefully. The following are the capitals represented in that 

1. Small shafts of St. Mark's Pulpit. 

2. From the transitional house in the Calle di Rime- 

dio (conf. Vol. II.). 

3. General simplest form of the middle Gothic capi- 


4. Nave of San Giacomo de Lorio. 

5. Casa Falier. 

6. Early Gothic house in Campo Sta. M*- Mater 


PLATE II. 7. House at the Apostoli. 
Vol. III. 8. Piazzetta shafts. 

9. Ducal Palace, upper arcade. 

10. Palace of Marco Querini. 

11. Fondaco de' Turchi. 

12. Gothic palaces in Campo San Polo. 

13. Windows of fourth order, Plate XVI. Vol. II. 

14. Nave of Church of San Stefano. 

15. Late Gothic Palace at the Miracoli. 

The two lateral columns form a consecutive series : the cen- 
tral column is a group of exceptional character, running parallel 
with both. We will take the lateral ones first. 1. Capital of 
pulpit of St. Mark's (representative of the simplest concave forms 
of the Byzantine period). Look back to Plate VIII. Vol. II., 
and observe that while all the forms in that plate are contempo- 
raneous, we are now going to follow a series consecutive in time, 
which begins from fig. 1, either in that plate or in this ; that is 
to say, with the simplest possible condition to be found at the 
time; and which proceeds to develope itself into gradually 
increasing richness, while the already rich capitals of the old 
school die at its side. In the forms 14 and 15 (Plate VIII.) the 


Byzantine school expired; but from the Byzantine simple capital 
(1, Plate II. above) which was coexistent with them, sprang 
another hardy race of capitals, whose succession we have now to 

The form 1, Plate II. is evidently the simplest conceivable 
condition of the truncated capital, long ago represented gener- 
ally in Vol. I., being only rounded a little on its side to fit it to 
the shaft. The next step was to place a leaf beneath each of the 
truncations (fig. 4, Plate II., San Giacomo de Lorio), the end of 
the leaf curling over at the top in a somewhat formal spiral, 
partly connected with the traditional volute of the Corinthian 
capital. The sides are then enriched by the addition of some 
ornament, as a shield (fig. 7) or rose (fig. 10), and we have the 
formed capital of the early Gothic. Fig. 10, being from the 
palace of Marco Querini, is certainly not later than the middle 
of the thirteenth century (see Vol. II.), and fig. 7, is, I believe, 
of the same date ; it is one of the bearing capitals of the lower 
story of the palace at the Apostoli, and is remarkably fine in the 
treatment of its angle leaves, which are not deeply under-cut, 
but show their magnificent sweeping under surface all the way 
down, not as a leaf surface, but treated like the gorget of a hel- 
met, with a curved line across it like that where the gorget 
meets the mail. I never saw anything finer in simple design. 
Fig. 10 is given chiefly as a certification of date, and to show the 
treatment of the capitals of this school on a small scale. Ob- 
serve the more expansive head in proportion to the diameter of 
the shaft, the leaves being drawn from the angles, as if gathered 
in the hand, till their edges meet ; and compare the rale given 
in Vol. I. Chap. IX. xiv. The capitals of the remarkable 
house, of which a portion is represented in Fig. XXXI. Vol. II., 
are most curious and pure examples of this condition ; with 
experimental trefoils, roses, and leaves introduced between their 
volutes. When compared with those of the Querini Palace, 
they form one of the most important evidences of the date of the 

Fig. 13. One of the bearing capitals, already drawn on a 
small scale in the windows represented in Plate XVI. Vol. II. 

Now, observe. The capital of the form of fig. 10 appeared 
sufficient to the Venetians for all ordinary purposes; and they 



used it in common windows to the latest Gothic periods, but yet 
with certain differences which at once show the lateness of the 
\vork. In the first place, the rose, which at first was flat and 
quatref oiled, becomes, after some experiments, around ball divid- 
ing into three leaves, closely resembling our English ball flower, 
and probably derived from it; and, in other cases, forming a bold 
projecting bud in various degrees of contraction or expansion. 
In the second place, the extremities of the angle leaves are 
wrought into rich flowing lobes, and bent back so as to lap 
against their own breasts ; showing lateness of date in exact pro- 
portion to the looseness of curvature. Fig. 3 represents the gen- 
eral aspect of these later capitals, which may be conveniently 
called the rose capitals of Venice ; two are seen on service, in 
Plate VIII. Vol. I., showing comparatively early date by the 
experimental form of the six-foiled rose. But for elaborate edi- 
fices this form was not sufficiently rich ; and there was felt to be 
something awkward in the junction of the leaves at the bottom. 
Therefore, four other shorter leaves were added at the sides, as 
in fig. 13, Plate II., and as generally represented in Plate X. 
Vol. II. fig. 1. This was a good and noble step, taken very 
early in the thirteenth century ; and all the best Venetian capi- 
tals were thenceforth of this form. Those which followed, and 
rested in the common rose type, were languid and unfortunate : 
I do not know a single good example of them after the first half 
of the thirteenth century. 

But the form reached in fig. 13 was quickly felt to be of 
great value and power. One would have thought it might have 
been taken straight from the Corinthian type ; but it is clearly 
the work of men who were making experiments for themselves. 
For instance, in the central capital of Fig. XXXI. Vol. II., there 
is a trial condition of it, with the intermediate leaf set behind 
those at the angles (the reader had better take a magnifying 
glass to this woodcut ; it will show the character of the capitals 
better). Two other experimental forms occur in the Casa 
Cicogna (Vol. II.), and supply one of the evidences which fix 
the date of that palace. But the form soon was determined as 
in fig. 13, and then means were sought of recommending it by 
farther decoration. 

The leaves which are used in fig. 13, it will be observed, have 


lost the Corinthian volute, and are now pure and plain leaves, 
such as were used in the Lombardic Gothic of the early 
thirteenth century all over Italy. Now in a round-arched gate- 
way at Verona, certainly not later than 1300 ; the pointed leaves 
of this pure form are used in one portion of the mouldings, and 
in another are enriched by having their surfaces carved each 
into a beautiful ribbed and pointed leaf. The capital, fig. 6, 
Plate II. , is nothing more than fig. 13 so enriched ; and the 
two conditions are quite contemporary, fig. 13 being from a 
beautiful series of fourth order windows in Campo Sta. Ma. 
Mater Domini, already drawn in my folio work. 

Fig. 13 is representative of the richest conditions of Gothic 
capital which existed at the close of the thirteenth century. 
The builder of the Ducal Palace amplified them into the form of 
fig. 9, but varying the leafage in disposition and division of 
lobes in every capital ; and the workmen trained under him 
executed many noble capitals for the Gothic palaces of the early 
fourteenth century, of which fig. 12, from a palace in the 
Campo St. Polo, is one of the most beautiful examples. In figs. 9 
and 12 the reader sees the Venetian Gothic capital in its noblest 
developement. The next step was to such forms as fig. 15, 
which is generally characteristic of the late fourteenth and early 
fifteenth century Gothic, and of which I hope the reader will at 
once perceive the exaggeration and corruption. 

This capital is from a palace near the Miracoli, and it is re- 
markable for the delicate, though corrupt, ornament on its 
abacus, which is precisely the same as that on the pillars of the 
screen of St. Mark's. That screen is a monument of very great 
value, for it shows the entire corruption of the Gothic power, 
and the style of the later palaces accurately and completely 
defined in all its parts, and is dated 1380; thus at once furnish- 
ing us with a limiting date, which throws all the noble work of 
the early Ducal Palace, and all that is like it in Venice, 
thoroughly back into the middle of the fourteenth century at the 

Fig. 2 is the simplest condition of the capital universally 
employed in the windows of the second order, noticed above, 
Vol. II., as belonging to a style of great importance in the 
transitional architecture of Venice. Observe, that in all the 


capitals given in the lateral columns in Plate II., the points of 
the leaves turn over. But in this central group they lie flat 
against the angle of the capital, and form a peculiarly light and 
lovely succession of forms, occurring only in their purity in the 
windows of the second order, and in some important monuments 
connected with them. 

In fig. 2 the leaf at the angle is cut, exactly in the manner of 
an Egyptian bas-relief, into the stone, with a raised edge round 
it, and a raised rib up the centre ; and this mode of execution, 
seen also in figs. 4 and 7, is one of the collateral evidences of 
early date. But in figs. 5 and 8, where more elaborate effect 
was required, the leaf is thrown out boldly with an even edge 
from the surface of the capital, and enriched on its own surface : 
and as the treatment of fig. 2 corresponds with that of fig. 4, 
so that of fig. 5 corresponds with that of fig. 6; 2 and 5 hav- 
ing the upright leaf, 4 and 6 the bending leaves ; but all con- 

Fig. 5 is the central capital of the windows of Casa Falier, 
drawn in Plate XV. Vol. II. ; and one of the leaves set on its 
angles is drawn larger at fig. 7, Plate XX. Vol. II. It has no 
rib, but a sharp raised ridge down its centre ; and its lobes, of 
which the reader will observe the curious form, round in the 
middle one, truncated in the sides, are wrought with a preci- 
sion and care which I have hardly ever seen equalled : but of 
this more presently. 

The next figure (8, Plate II.) is the most important capital of 
the whole transitional period, that employed on the two columns 
of the Piazzetta. These pillars are said to have been raised in 
the close of the twelfth century, but I cannot find even the most 
meagre account of their bases, capitals, or, which seems to me 
most wonderful, of that noble winged lion, one of the grandest 
things produced by mediaeval art, which all men admire, and 
none can draw. I have never yet seen a faithful representation 
of his firm, fierce, and fiery strength. I believe that both he 
and the capital which bears him are late thirteenth century work. 
I have not been up to the lion, and cannot answer for it ; but if 
it be not thirteenth century work, it is as good ; and respecting 
the capitals, there can be small question. They are of exactly 
the date of the oldest tombs, bearing crosses, outside of St. 


John and Paul ; and are associated with all the other work of 
the transitional period, from 1250 to 1300 (the bases of these 
pillars, representing the trades of Venice, ought, by the by, to 
have been mentioned as among the best early efforts of Vene- 
tian grotesque); and, besides, their abaci are formed by four 
reduplications of the dentilled mouldings of St. Mark's, which 
never occur after the year 1300. 

Nothing can be more beautiful or original than the adaptation 
of these broad bearing abaci ; but as they have nothing to do 
with the capital itself, and could not easily be brought into the 
space, they are omitted in Plate II., where fig. 8 shows the bell 
of the capital only. Its profile is curiously subtle, apparently 
concave everywhere, but in reality concave (all the way down) 
only on the angles, and slightly convex at the sides (the profile 
through the side being 2 k, Plate X. Vol. II.) ; in this subtlety 
of curvature, as well as in the simple cross, showing the influence 
of early times. 

The leaf on the angle, of which more presently, is fig. 5, Plate 
XX. Vol. II. 

Connected with this school of transitional capitals we find a 
form in the later Gothic, such as fig. 14, from the Church of 
San Stef ano ; but which appears in part derived from an old and 
rich Byzantine type, of which fig. 11, from the Fondaco de' 
Turchi, is a characteristic example. 

I must now take the reader one step farther, and ask him to 
examine, finally, the treatment of the leaves, down to the cutting 
of their most minute lobes, in the series of capitals of which we 
have hitherto only sketched the general forms. 

In all capitals with nodding leaves, such as 6 and 9 in Plate 
II., the real form of the leaf is not to be seen, except in perspec- 
tive ; but, in order to render the comparison more easy, I have in 
Plate XX. Vol. II. opened all the leaves out, as if they were to 
be dried in a herbarium, only leaving the furrows and sinuosi- 
ties of surface, but laying the outside contour nearly flat upon 
the page, except for a particular reason in figs. 2 10, 11, 
and 15. 

I shall first, as usual, give the references, and then note the 
points of interest. 


1, 2, 3. Fondaco de' Turchi, upper arcade. 

4. Greek pillars brought from St. Jean d'Acre. 

5. Piazzetta shafts. 

6. Madonnetta House. 
PLATE XX. 7. Casa Falier. 

Vol. II. 8. Palace near St. Eustachio. 

9. Tombs, outside of St. John and Paul. 

10. Tomb of Giovanni Soranzo. 

11. Tomb of Andrea Dandolo. 

12. 13, 14. Ducal Palace. 

N.B. The upper row, 1 to 4, is Byzantine, the next tran- 
sitional, the last two Gothic. 

Fig. 1. The leaf of the capital No. 6, Plate VIII. Vol. II. 
Each lobe of the leaf has a sharp furrow up to its point, from its 

Fig. 2. The leaf of the capital on the right hand, at the top 
of Plate XII. in this volume. The lobes worked in the same 
manner, with deep black drill holes between their points. 

Fig. 3. One of the leaves of fig. 14, Plate VIII. Vol. II. fully 
unfolded. The lobes worked in the same manner, but left shal- 
low, so as not to destroy the breadth of light ; the central line 
being drawn by drill holes, and the interstices between lobes cut 
black and deep. 

Fig. 4. Leaf with flower ; pure Byzantine work, showing 
whence the treatment of all the other leaves has been derived. 

Fig. 6. For the sake of symmetry, this is put in the centre : 
it is the earliest of the three in this row ; taken from the Ma- 
donnetta House, where the capitals have leaves both at their 
sides and angles. The tall angle leaf, with its two lateral ones, 
is given in the plate ; and there is a remarkable distinction in 
the mode of workmanship of these leaves, which, though found 
in a palace of the Byzantine period, is indicative of a tendency 
to transition ; namely, that the sharp furrow is now drawn only 
to the central lobe of each division of the leaf, and the rest of 
the surface of the leaf is left nearly flat, a slight concavity only 
marking the division of the extremities. At the base of these 
leaves they are perfectly flat, only cut by the sharp and narrow 
furrow, as an elevated table-land is by ravines. 


Fig. 5. A more advanced condition ; the fold at the recess, 
between each division of the leaf, carefully expressed, and the 
concave or depressed portions of the extremities marked more 
deeply, as well as the central furrow, and a rib added in the 

Fig. 7. A contemporary, but more finished form ; the 
sharp furrows becoming softer, and the whole leaf more 

Fig. 8. An exquisite form of the same period, but show- 
ing still more advanced naturalism, from a very early group of 
third order windows, near the Church of St. Eustachio on the 
Grand Canal. 

Fig. 9. Of the same time, from a small capital of an angle 
shaft of the sarcophagi at the side of St. John and Paul, in the 
little square which is adorned by the Colleone statue. This 
leaf is very quaint and pretty in giving its midmost lateral 
divisions only two lobes each, instead of the usual three or 

Fig. 10. Leaf employed in the cornice of the tomb of the 
Doge Giovanni Soranzo, who died in 1312. It nods over, and 
has three ribs on its upper surface ; thus giving us the com- 
pleted ideal form of the leaf, but its execution is still very 
archaic and severe. 

Now the next example, fig. 11, is from the tomb of the Doge 
Andrea Dandolo, and therefore executed between 1354 and 1360; 
.and this leaf shows the Gothic naturalism and refinement of 
curvature fully developed. In this forty years' interval, then, 
the principal advance of Gothic sculpture is to be placed. 

I had prepared a complete series of examples, showing this 
advance, and the various ways in which the separations of the 
ribs, a most characteristic feature, are more and more delicately 
and scientifically treated, from the beginning to the middle of 
the fourteenth century, but I feared that no general reader 
would care to follow me into these minutiae, and have cancelled 
this portion of the work, at least for the present, the main point 
being, that the reader should feel the full extent of the change, 
which he can hardly fail to do in looking from fig. 10 to figs. 11 
.and 12. I believe that fig. 12 is the earlier of the two ; and it 
is assuredly the finer, having all the elasticity and simplicity of 


the earliest forms, with perfect flexibility added. In fig. 11 
there is a perilous element beginning to develope itself into one 
feature, namely, the extremities of the leaves, which, instead of 
merely nodding over, now curl completely round into a kind of 
ball. This occurs early, and in the finest Gothic work, espe- 
cially in cornices and other running mouldings : but it is a fatal 
symptom, a beginning of the intemperance of the later Gothic, 
and it was followed out with singular avidity ; the ball of coiled 
leafage increasing in size and complexity, and at last becoming 
the principal feature of the work ; the light striking on its 
vigorous projection, as in fig. 14. Nearly all the Renaissance 
Gothic of Venice depends upon these balls for effect, a late capi- 
tal being generally composed merely of an upper and lower range 
of leaves terminating in this manner. 

It is very singular and notable how, in this loss of temperance, 
there is loss of life. For truly healthy and living leaves do not 
bind themselves into knots at the extremities. They bend, and 
wave, and nod, but never curl. It is in disease, or in death, by 
blight, or frost, or poison only, that leaves in general assume 
this ingathered form. It is the flame of autumn that has 
shrivelled them, or the web of the caterpillar that has bound 
them : and thus the last forms of the Venetian leafage set forth 
the fate of Venetian pride ; and, in their utmost luxuriance and 
abandonment, perish as if eaten of worms. 

And now, by glancing back to Plate X. Vol. II., the reader 
will see in a moment the kind of evidence which is found of the 
date of capitals in their profiles merely. Observe : we have seen 
that the treatment of the leaves in the Madonnetta House seemed 
" indicative of a tendency to transition." Note their profile, 1, 
and its close correspondence with 1 h, which is actually of a 
transitional capital from the upper arcade of second order 
windows in the Apostoli Palace ; yet both shown to be very 
close to the Byzantine period, if not belonging to it, by their 
fellowship with the profile i, from the Fondaco de' Turchi. 
Then note the close correspondence of all the other profiles in 
that line, which belong to the concave capitals or plinths of the 
Byzantine palaces, and note their composition, the abacus being, 
in idea, merely an echo or reduplication of the capital itself ; as 
seen in perfect simplicity in the profile/, which is a roll under 


a tall concave curve forming the bell of the capital, with a roll 
and short concave curve for its abacus. This peculiar abacus is 
an unfailing test of early date ; and our finding this simple pro- 
file used for the Ducal Palace (/), is strongly confirmatory of all 
our former conclusions. 

Then the next row, 2, are the Byzantine and early Gothic 
semi-convex curves, in their pure forms, having no roll below ; 
but often with a roll added, as at /, and in certain early Gothic 
conditions curiously fused into it, with a cavetto between, as #, 
c, d. But the more archaic form is as at /and Ic ; and as these 
two profiles are from the Ducal Palace and Piazzetta shafts, they 
join again with the rest of the evidence of their early date. The 
profiles i and Tc are both most beautiful ; i is that of the great 
capitals of the Ducal Palace, and the small profiles between it 
and k are the varieties used on the fillet at its base. The profile 
i should have had leaves springing from it, as 1 A has, only more 
boldly, but there was no room for them. 

The reader cannot fail to discern at a glance the fellowship 
of the whole series of profiles, 2 a io &, nor can he but with equal 
ease observe a marked difference in 4 d and 4 e from any others 
in the plate ; the bulging outlines of leafage being indicative of 
the luxuriant and flowing masses, no longer expressible with a 
simple line, but to be considered only as confined within it, of 
the later Gothic. Now d is a dated profile from the tomb of 
St. Isidore, 1355, which by its dog-tooth abacus and heavy leaf- 
age distinguishes itself from all the other profiles, and therefore 
throws them back into the first half of the century; But, ob- 
serve, it still retains the noble swelling root. This character 
soon after vanishes ; and, in 1380, the profile e, at once heavy, 
feeble, and ungraceful, with a meagre and valueless abacus 
hardly discernible, is characteristic of all the capitals of Venice. 

Note, finally, this contraction of the abacus. Compare 4 c, 
which is the earliest form in the plate, from Murano, with 4 e, 
which is the latest. . The other profiles show the gradual pro- 
cess of change ; only observe, in 30 the abacus is not drawn ; it 
is so bold that it would not come into the plate without reducing 
the bell curve to too small a scale. 

So much for the evidence derivable from the capitals ; we 
have next to examine that of the archivolts or arch mouldings. 


IV. ArcMvolts. 

In Plate VIII., opposite, are arranged in one view all the 
conditions of Byzantine archivolt employed in Venice, on a large 
scale. It will be seen in an instant that there can be no mis- 
taking the manner of their masonry. The soffit of the arch is 
the horizontal line at the bottom of all these profiles, and each of 
them (except 13, 14) is composed of two slabs of marble, one 
for the soffit, another for the face of the arch; the one on the 
soffit is worked on the edge into a roll (fig. 10) or dentil (fig. 9), 
and the one on the face is bordered on the other side by another 
piece let edgeways into the wall, and also worked into a roll or 
dentil: in the richer archivolts a cornice is added to this roll, as 
in figs. 1 and 4, or takes its place, as in figs. 1, 3, 5, and 6; and 
in such richer examples the faoestone, and often the soffit, are 
sculptured, the sculpture being cut into their surfaces, as indi- 
cated in fig. 11. The concavities cut in the facestones of 1, 2, 4, 
5, 6 are all indicative of sculpture in effect like that of Fig. 
XXVI. Vol. II., of which archivolt fig. 5, here, is the actual 
profile. The following are the references to the whole : 

1. Rio-Foscari House. 

2. Terraced House, entrance door. 

3. Small Porticos of St. Mark's, external arches. 

4. Arch on the canal at Ponte St. Toma. 

5. Arch of Corte del Renier. 

6. Great outermost archivolt of central door, St. 


PL T VIII ^' * nner arcn i v lt f southern porch, St. Mark's 
y i TTT ' Facade. 

8. Inner archivolt of central entrance, St. Mark's. 

9. Fondaco de' Turchi, main arcade. 

10. Byzantine restored house on Grand Canal, lower 


11. Terraced House, upper arcade. 

12. Inner archivolt of northern porch of facade, St. 

13 and 14. Transitional forms. 






I ft 46 678 9 10 

32 33 




39 _ 40 , 

Gothic Archivolts. 


There is little to be noted respecting these forms, except that, 
in fig. 1, the two lower rolls, with the angular projections be- 
tween, represent the fall of the mouldings of two proximate 
arches on the abacus of the bearing shaft ; their two cornices 
meeting each other, and being gradually narrowed into the little 
angular intermediate piece, their sculptures being slurred into 
the contracted space, a curious proof of the earliness of the 
work. The real archivolt moulding is the same as fig. 4 c c, 
including only the midmost of the three rolls in fig. 1. 

It will be noticed that 2, 5, 6, and 8 are sculptured on the 
soffits as well as the faces ; 9 is the common profile of arches 
decorated only with colored marble, the facestone being colored, 
the soffit white. The effect of such a moulding is seen in the 
small windows at the right hand of Fig. XXVI. Vol. II. 

The reader will now see that there is but little difficulty in 
identifying Byzantine work, the archivolt mouldings being so 
similar among themselves, and so unlike any others. We have 
next to examine the Gothic forms. 

Figs. 13 and 14 in Plate VIII. represent the first brick 
mouldings of the transitional period, occurring in such instances 
as Fig. XXIII. or Fig. XXXIII. Vol. II. (the soffit stone of the 
Byzantine mouldings being taken away), and this profile, trans- 
lated into solid stone, forms the almost universal moulding of 
the windows of the second order. These two brick mouldings 
are repeated, for the sake of comparison, at the top of Plate IX. 
opposite ; and the upper range of mouldings which they com- 
mence, in that plate, are the brick mouldings of Venice in the 
early Gothic period. All the forms below are in stone ; and the 
moulding 2, translated into stone, forms the universal archivolt 
of the early pointed arches of Venice, and windows of second 
and third orders. The moulding 1 is much rarer, and used for 
the most part in doors only. 

The reader will see at once the resemblance of character in 
the various flat brick mouldings, 3 to 11. They belong to such 
arches as 1 and 2 in Plate XVII. Vol. II. ; or 6 I, 6 c, in Plate 
XIV. Vol. II., 7 and 8 being actually the mouldings of those 
two doors ; the whole group being perfectly defined, and sepa- 
rate from all the other Gothic work in Venice, and clearly the 
result of an effort to imitate, in brickwork, the effect of the flat 


sculptured archi volts of the Byzantine times. (See Vol. II. 
Chap. VII. xxxvu.) 

Then comes the group 14 to 18 in stone, derived from the 
mouldings 1 and 2; first by truncation, 14; then by beading 
the truncated angle, 15, 16. The occurrence of the profile 16 
in the three beautiful windows represented in the uppermost 
figure of Plate XVIII. Vol. I. renders that group of peculiar 
interest, and is strong evidence of its antiquity. Then a cavetto 
is added, 17; first shallow and then deeper, 18, which is the 
common archivolt moulding of the central Gothic door and win- 
dow : but, in the windows of the early fourth order, this mould- 
ing is complicated by various additions of dog-tooth mouldings 
under the dentil, as in 20; or the gabled dentil (see fig. 20, Plate 
IX. Vol. I.), as fig. 21; or both, as figs 23, 24. All these varie- 
ties expire in the advanced period, and the established mould- 
ing for windows is 29. The intermediate group, 25 to 28, I 
found only in the high windows of the third order in the Ducal 
Palace, orjn the Chapter-house of the Frari, or in the arcades of 
the Ducal Palace; the great outside lower arcade of the Ducal 
Palace has the profile 31, the left-hand side being the inner- 

* Now observe, all these archi volts, without exception, assume 
that the spectator looks from the outside only: none are complete 
on both sides; they are essentially window mouldings, and have 
no resemblance to those of our perfect Gothic arches prepared for 
traceries. If they were all completely drawn in the plate, they 
should be as fig. 25, having a great depth of wall behind the 
mouldings, but it was useless to represent this in every case. 
The Ducal Palace begins to show mouldings on both sides, 28, 31 ; 
and 35 is a complete arch moulding from the apse of the Frari. 
That moulding, though so perfectly developed, is earlier than the 
Ducal Palace, and with other features of the building, indicates 
the completeness of the Gothic system, which made the archi- 
tect of the Ducal Palace found his work principally upon that 

The other examples in this plate show the various modes of 
combination employed in richer archivolts. The triple change 
of slope in 38 is very curious. The references are as follows : 


1. Transitional to the second order. 

2. Common second order. 

3. Brick, at Corte del Forno, Round arch. 

4. Door at San Giovanni Grisostomo. 

5. Door at Sotto Portico della Stua. 

6. Door in Campo St. Luca, of rich brickwork. 

7. Round door at Fondamenta Venier. 

S. Pointed door. Fig. 6 c, Plate XIV. Vol. II. 

9. Great pointed arch, Salizzada San Lio. 

10. Round door near Fondaco de' Turchi. 

11. Door with Lion, at Ponte della Corona. 

12. San Gregorio, Facade. 

13. St. John and Paul, Nave. 

14. Rare early fourth order, at San Cassan. 

15. General early Gothic archivolt. 

PLATE IX. ^ game? from door in Rio San Q. G r i sos t mo. 
Vol. 111. Vittura< 

18. Casa Sagredo, Unique thirds. Vol. II. 

19. Murano Palace, Unique fourths.* 

20. Pointed door of Four-Evangelist House. \ 

21. Keystone door in Campo St. M. Formosa. 

22. Rare fourths, at St. Pantaleon. 

23. Rare fourths, Casa Papadopoli. 

24. Rare fourths, Chess house. J 

25. Thirds of Frari Cloister. 

26. Great pointed arch of Frari Cloister. 

27. Unique thirds, Ducal Palace. 

28. Inner Cortile, pointed arches, Ducal Palace. 

29. Common fourth and fifth order Archivolt. 

30. Unique thirds, Ducal Palace. 

31. Ducal Palace, lower arcade. 

* Close to the bridge over the main channel through Murano is a mas- 
sive foursquare Gothic palace, containing some curious traceries, and many 
unique transitional forms of window, among which these windows of the 
fourth order occur, with a roll within their dentil band. 

f Thus, for the sake of convenience, we may generally call the palace 
with the emblems of the Evangelists on its spandrils, Vol. II. 

\ The house with chequers like a chess-board on its spandrils, given in 
my folio work. 


32. Casa Priuli, arches in the inner court. 

33. Circle above the central window, Ducal Palace. 

34. Murano apse. 

35. Acute-pointed arch, Frari. 
PLATE IX. 36. Door of Accademia delle belle Arti. 

Vol. III. 37. Door in Calle Tiossi, near Four-Evangelist House, 

38. Door in Campo San Polo. 

39. Door of palace at Ponte Marcello. 

40. Door of a palace close to the Church of the Mira- 


V. Cornices. 

Plate X. represents, in one view, the cornices or string- 
courses of Venice, and the abaci of its capitals, early and late ; 
these two features being inseparably connected, as explained in 
Vol. I. 

The evidence given by these mouldings is exceedingly clear. 
The two upper lines in the Plate, 1 11, 12 24, are all plinths 
from Byzantine buildings. The reader will at once observe 
their unmistakable resemblances. The row 41 to 50 are contem- 
porary abaci of capitals ; 52, 53, 54, 56, are examples of late 
Gothic abaci ; and observe, especially, these are all rounded at 
the top of the cavetto, but the Byzantine abaci are rounded, if 
at all, at the bottom of the cavetto (see 7, 8, 9, 10, 20, 28, 46). 
Consider what a valuable test of date this is, in any disputable 

Again, compare 28, 29, one from St. Mark's, the other from 
the Ducal Palace, and observe the close resemblance, giving far- 
ther evidence of early date in the palace. 

25 and 50 are drawn to the same scale. The former is the 
wall-cornice, the latter the abacus of the great shafts, in the 
Casa Loredan ; the one passing into the other, as seen in Fig. 
XXVIII. Vol. I. It is curious to watch the change in propor- 
tion, while the moulding, all but the lower roll, remains the 

The following are the references: 

PLATE X. 1. Common plinth of St. Mark's. 
Vol. III. 2. Plinth above lily capitals, St. Mark's. 




12 u 


IS 20 21 22 23 24 



: ^ f 





% i 

37 38 30 40 

41 ' 42 43 44 45 46 47 

51 52 53 64 55 56 

Cornices and Abaci. 


3, 4. Plinths in early surface Gothic. 

5. Plinth of door in Campo St. Luca. 

6. Plinth of treasury door, St. Mark's. 

7. Archivolts of nave, St. Mark's. 

8. Archivolts of treasury door, St. Mark's. 

9. Moulding of circular window in St. John and 


10. Chief decorated narrow plinth, St. Mark's. 

11. Plinth of door, Campo St. Margherita. 

12. Plinth of tomb of Doge Vital Falier. 

13. Lower plinth, Fondaco de' Turchi, and Terraced 


14. Running plinth of Corte del Reiner. 

15. Highest plinth at top of Fondaco de' Turchi 

16. Common Byzantine plinth. 

17. Running plinth of Casa Falier. 

18. Plinth of arch at Ponte St. Toma. 

19. 20, 21. Plinths of tomb of Doge Vital Falier. 
PLATE X. 22. Plinth of window in Calle del Pistor. 

Vol. in. 23. Plinth of tomb of Dogaressa Vital Michele. 

24. Archivolt in the Frari. 

25. Running plinth, Casa Loredan. 

26. Running plinth, under pointed arch, in Salizzada 

San Lio. 

27. Running plinth, Casa Erizzo. 

28. Circles in portico of St. Mark's. 

29. Ducal Palace cornice, lower arcade. 

30. Ducal Palace cornice, upper arcade. 

31. Central Gothic plinth. 

32. Late Gothic plinth. 

33. Late Gothic plinth, Casa degli Ambasciatori. 

34. Late Gothic plinth, Palace near the Jesuiti. 

35. 36. Central balcony cornice. 

37. Plinth of St. Mark's balustrade. 

38. Cornice of the Frari, in brick, cabled. 

39. Central balcony plinth. 

40. Uppermost cornice, Ducal Palace. 

41. Abacus of lily capitals, St. Mark's. 

42. Abacus, Fondaco de' Turchi. 


43. Abacus, large capital of Terraced House. 

44. Abacus, Fondaco de' Turchi. 

45. Abacus, Ducal Palace, upper arcade. 

46. Abacus, Corte del Remer. 

47. Abacus, small pillars, St. Mark's pulpit. 

48. Abacus, Murano and Torcello. 

49. Abacus, Casa Farsetti. 

PLATE X. 50. Abacus, Casa Loredan, lower story. 

Vol. III. 51. Abacus, capitals of Frari. 

52. Abacus, Casa Cavalli (plain). 

53. Abacus, Casa Priuli (flowered). 

54. Abacus, Casa Foscari (plain). 

55. Abacus, Casa Priuli (flowered). 

56. Abacus, Plate II. fig. 15. 

57. Abacus, St. John and Paul. 

58. Abacus, St. Stefano. 

It is only farther to be noted, that these mouldings are used 
in various proportions, for all kinds of purposes: sometimes for 
true cornices; sometimes for window-sills; sometimes, 3 and 4 
(in the Gothic time) especially, for dripstones of gables: 11 and 
such others form little plinths or abaci at the spring of arches, 
such as those shown at a, Fig. XXIII. Vol. II. Finally, a large 
number of superb Byzantine cornices occur, of the form shown 
at the top of the arch in Plate V. Vol. II. , having a profile like 
16 or 19 here; with nodding leaves of acanthus thrown out 
from it, being, in fact, merely one range of the leaves of a By- 
zantine capital iinwrapped, and formed into a continuous line. 
I had prepared a large mass of materials for the illustration of 
these cornices, and the Gothic ones connected with them; but 
found the subject would take up another volume, and was forced, 
for the present, to abandon it. The lower series of profiles, 7 
to 12 in Plate XV. Vol. I., shows how the leaf -ornament is laid 
on the simple early cornices. 

VI. Traceries. 

We have only one subject more to examine, the character of 
. the early and late Tracery Bars. 


The reader may perhaps have been surprised at the small at- 
tention given to traceries in the course of the preceding volumes: 
but the reason is, that there are no complicated traceries at Yen- 
ice belonging to the good Gothic time, with the single exception 
of those of the Casa Cicogna; and the magnificent arcades of the 
Ducal Palace Gothic are so simple as to require little explana- 

There are, however, two curious circumstances in the later 
traceries; the first, that they are universally considered by the 
builder (as the old Byzantines considered sculptured surfaces of 
stone) as material out of which a certain portion is to be cut, to 
fill his window. A fine Northern Gothic tracery is a complete 
and systematic arrangement of arches and foliation, adjusted to 
the form of the window; but a Venetian tracery is a piece of a 
larger composition, cut to the shape of the window. In the 
Porta della Carta, in the Church of the Madonna dell' Orto, in 
the Casa Bernardo on the Grand Canal, in the old Church of the 
Misericordia, and wherever else there are rich traceries in Venice, 
it will always be found that a certain arrangement of quatrefoils 
and other figures has been planned as if it were to extend indefi- 
nitely into miles of arcade; and out of this colossal piece of marble 
lace, a piece in the shape of a window is cut, mercilessly and 
fearlessly: whatever fragments and odd shapes of interstice, 
remnants of this or that figure of the divided foliation, may oc- 
cur at the edge of the window, it matters not; all are cut across, 
and shut in by the great outer archivolt. 

It is very curious to find the Venetians treating what in other 
countries became of so great individual importance, merely as a 
kind of diaper ground, like that of their chequered colors on the 
walls. There is great grandeur in the idea, though the system 
of their traceries was spoilt by it: but they always treated their 
buildings as masses of color rather than of line; and the great 
traceries of the Ducal Palace itself are not spared any more than 
those of the minor palaces. They are cut off at the flanks in the 
middle of the quatrefoils, and the terminal mouldings take up 
part of the breadth of the poor half of a quatrefoil at the ex- 

One other circumstance is notable also. In good Northern 
Gothic the tracery bars are of a constant profile, the same on 


both sides; and if the plan of the tracery leaves any interstices 
so small that there is not room for the full profile of the tracery- 
bar all round them, those interstices are entirely closed, the 
tracery bars being supposed to have met each other. But in 
Venice, if an interstice becomes anywhere inconveniently small, 
the tracery bar is sacrificed; cut away, or in some way altered in 
profile, in order to afford more room for the light, especially in 
the early traceries, so that one side of a tracery bar is often 
quite different from the other. For instance, in the bars 1 and 
2, Plate XL, from the Frari and St. John and Paul, the upper- 
most side is towards a great opening, and there was room for the 
bevel or slope to the cusp; but in the other side the opening was 
too small, and the bar falls vertically to the cusp. In 5 the up- 
permost side is to the narrow aperture, and the lower to the small 
one; and in fig. 9, from the Casa Cicogna, the uppermost side 
is to the apertures of the tracery, the lowermost to the arches 
beneath, the great roll following the design of the tracery; while 
13 and 14 are left without the roll at the base of their cavettos 
on the uppermost sides, which are turned to narrow apertures. 
The earliness of the Casa Cicogna tracery is seen in a moment 
by its being moulded on the face only. It is in fact nothing 
more than a series of quatrefoiled apertures in the solid wall of 
the house, with mouldings on their faces, and magnificent arches 
of pure pointed fifth order sustaining them below. 

The following are the references to the figures in the plate: 

1. Frari. 

2. Apse, St. John and Paul. 

3. Frari. 

4. Ducal Palace, inner court, upper window. 

5. Madonna dell' Orto. 

6. St. John and Paul. 
PLATE XI. 7. Casa Bernardo. 

Vol. III. 8. Casa Contarini Fasan. 

9. Casa Cicogna. 
10. 11. Frari. 

12. Murano Palace (see note, p. 265). 

13. Misericord ia. 






24 15 


Tracery Bars. 


14. Palace of the younger Foscari.* 

15. Casa d' Oro ; great single windows. 

16. Hotel Danieli. 

17. Ducal Palace. 

18. Casa Erizzo, on Grand Canal. 

19. Main story, Casa Cavalli. 
PLATE XI. 20. Younger Foscari. 

Vol. III. 21. Ducal Palace, traceried windows. 

22. Porta della Carta. 

23. Casa d' Oro. 

24. Casa d'Oro, upper story. 

25. Casa Facanon. 

26. Casa Cavalli, near Post-Office. 

It will be seen at a glance that, except in the very early fillet 
traceries of the Frari and St. John and Paul, Venetian work 
consists of roll traceries of one general pattern. It will be seen 
also, that 10 and 11 from the Frari, furnish the first examples of 
the form afterwards completely developed in 17, the tracery bar 
of the Ducal Palace ; but that this bar differs from them in 
greater strength and squareness, and in adding a recess between 
its smaller roll and the cusp. Observe, that this is done for 
strength chiefly ; as, in the contemporary tracery (21) of the 
upper windows, no such additional thickness is used. 

Figure 17 is slightly inaccurate. The little curved recesses 
behind the smaller roll are not equal on each side ; that next the 
cusp is smallest, being about f of an inch, while that next the 
cavetto is about ; to such an extent of subtlety did the old 
builders carry their love of change. 

The return of the cavetto in 21, 23, and 26, is comparatively 
rare, and is generally a sign of later date. 

The reader must observe that the great sturdiness of the form 
of the bars, 5, 9, 17, 24, 25, is a consequence of the peculiar 
office of Venetian traceries in supporting the mass of the build- 
ing above, already noticed in Vol. II. ; and indeed the forms of 

* The palace next the Casa Foscari, on the Grand Canal, sometimes said 
to have belonged to the son of the Doge. 





Fig. IL 

the Venetian Gothic are, in many other ways, influenced by 
the difficulty of obtaining stability on sandy foundations. One 
thing is especially noticeable in all their arrangements of 

traceries; namely, the endeavor to ob- 
tain equal and horizontal pressure 
along the whole breadth of the build- 
ing, not the divided and local pres- 
sures of Northern Gothic. This ob- 
ject is considerably aided by the 
structure of the balconies, which are 
of great service in knitting the shafts 
together, forming complete tie-beams 
of marble, as well as a kind of rivets, 
at their bases. For instance, at I, 
Fig. II., is represented the masonry 
of the base of the upper arcade of the 
Ducal Palace, showing the root of 
one of its main shafts, with the bind- 
ing balconies. The solid stones 
which form the foundation are much 
broader than the balcony shafts, so 
that the socketed arrangement is not 
seen : it is shown as it would appear 
in a longitudinal section. The bal- 
conies are not let into the circular 
shafts, but fitted to their circular 

curves, so as to grasp them, and riveted with metal ; and the 
bars of stone which form the tops of the balconies are of great 

strength and depth, the 
small trefoiled arches be- 
ing cut out of them as in 
Fig. III., so as hardly to 
diminish their binding 
power. In the lighter in- 
dependent balconies they 
are often cut deeper ; but 
in all cases the bar of stone 
is nearly independent of the small shafts placed beneath it, and 
would stand firm though these were removed, as at , Fig. II., 

Fig. IH. 




supported either by the main shafts of the traceries, or by its 
own small pilasters with semi-shafts at their sides, of the plan 
d, Fig. II., in a continuous balcony, and e at the angle of one. 

There is one more very curious circumstance illustrative of 
the Venetian desire to obtain horizontal pressure. In all the 
Gothic staircases with which I am acquainted, out of Venice, in 
which vertical shafts are used to support an inclined line, those 
shafts are connected by arches rising each above the other, with 
a little bracket above the capitals, on the side where it is neces- 
sary to raise the arch ; or else, though less gracefully, with a 
longer curve to the lowest side of the arch. 

Bat the Venetians seem to have had a morbid horror of 
arches which were not on a level. They could not endure the 
appearance of the roof of one arch bearing against the side of 
another ; and rather than introduce the idea of obliquity into 
bearing curves, they abandoned the arch principle altogether ; so 
that even in their richest Gothic staircases, where trefoiled 
arches, exquisitely decorated, are used on the landings, they ran 
the shafts on the sloping stair simply into the bar of stone above 
them, and used the excessively ugly and valueless arrangement 
of Fig. II., rather than sacrifice the sacred horizontally of their 
arch system. 

It will be noted, in Plate XL, that the form and character of 
the tracery bars themselves are independent of the position or 
projection of the cusps on their flat sides. In this respect, also, 

Fig. IV. 

Venetian traceries are peculiar, the example 22 of the Porta della 
Carta being the only one in the plate which is subordinated ac- 


cording to the Northern system. In every other case the form 
of the aperture is determined, either by a flat and solid cusp as 
in 6, or by a pierced cusp as in 4. The effect of the pierced 
cusp is seen in the uppermost figure, Plate XVIII. Vol. II. ; and 
its derivation from the solid cusp will be understood, at once, 
from the woodcut Fig. IV., which represents a series of the 
flanking stones of any arch of the fifth order, such as / in Plate 
III. Vol. I. 

The first on the left shows the condition of cusp in a per- 
fectly simple and early Gothic arch, 2 and 3 are those of common 
arches of the fifth order, 4 is the condition in more studied ex- 
amples of the Gothic advanced guard, and 5 connects them all 
with the system of traceries. Introducing the common archivolt 
mouldings on the projecting edge of 2 and 3, we obtain the bold 
and deep fifth order window, used down to the close of the four- 
teenth century or even later, and always grand in its depth of 
cusp, and consequently of shadow ; but Fi - v - 

the narrow cusp 4 occurs also in very 
early work, and is piquant when set be- 
neath a bold flat archivolt, as in Fig. 
V., from the Corte del Forno at Santa 
Marina. The pierced cusp gives a pe- 
culiar lightness and brilliancy to the 
window, but is not so sublime. In the 
richer buildings the surface of the flat 
and solid cusp is decorated with a shal- 
low trefoil (see Plate VIII. Vol. I.), or, 
when the cusp is small, with a triangu- 
lar incision only, as seen in figs. 7 and 8, Plate XL The recesses 
on the sides of the other cusps indicate their single or double 
lines of foliation. The cusp of the Ducal Palace has a fillet only 
round its edge, and a ball of red marble on its truncated point, 
and is perfect in its grand simplicity ; but in general the cusps 
of Venice are far inferior to those of Verona and of the other 
cities of Italy, chiefly because there was always some confusion 
in the mind of the designer between true cusps and the mere 
Lending inwards of the arch of the fourth order. The two se- 
ries, 4 a to 4 e, and 5 a to 5 e, in Plate XIV. Vol. II., are 
arranged so as to show this connexion, as well as the varieties of 


curvature in the tref oiled arches of the fourth and fifth orders, 
which, though apparently slight on so small a scale, are of enor- 
mous importance in distant effect ; a house in which the joints 
of the cusps project as much as in 5 c, being quite piquant and 
grotesque when compared with one in which the cusps are sub- 
dued to the form 5 . 4 d and 4 e are Veronese forms, wonder- 
fully effective and spirited ; the latter occurs at Verona only, but 
the former at Venice also. 5 d occurs in Venice, but is very 
rare ; and 5 el found only once, on the narrow canal close to 
the entrance door of the Hotel Danieli. It was partly walled up, 
but I obtained leave to take down the brickwork and lay open 
one side of the arch, which may still be seen. 

The above particulars are enough to enable the reader to 
judge of the distinctness of evidence which the details of Vene- 
tian architecture bear to its dates. Farther explanation of the 
plates would be vainly tedious : but the architect who uses these 
volumes in Venice will find them of value, in enabling him 
instantly to class the mouldings which may interest him ; and 
for this reason I have given a larger number of examples than 
would otherwise have been sufficient for my purpose. 



THE first of the following Indices contains the names of 
persons; the second those of places (not in Venice) alluded to in 
the body of the work. The third Index consists of references to 
the subjects touched upon. In the fourth, called the Venetian 
Index, I have named every building of importance in the city of 
Venice itself, or near it; supplying, for the convenience of the 
traveller, short notices of those to which I had no occasion to 
allude in the text of the work; and making the whole as com- 
plete a guide as I could, with such added directions as I should 
have given to any private friend visiting the city. As, however, 
in many cases, the opinions I have expressed differ widely from 
those usually received; and, in other instances, subjects which 
may be of much interest to the traveller have not come within 
the scope of my inquiry; the reader had better take Lazari's 
small Guide in his hand also, as he will find in it both the infor- 
mation I have been unable to furnish, and the expression of most 
of the received opinions upon any subject of art. 

Various inconsistencies will be noticed in the manner of in- 
dicating the buildings, some being named in Italian, some in 
English, and some half in one, and half in the other. But these 
inconsistencies are permitted in order to save trouble, and make 
the Index more practically useful. For instance, I believe the 
traveller will generally look for " Mark, "rather than for "Marco," 
when he wishes to find the reference to St. Mark's Church; but 
I think he will look for Rocco, rather than for Roch, when he is 
seeking for the account of the Scuola di San Rocco. So also I 
have altered the character in which the titles of the plates are 


printed, from the black letter in the first volume, to the plain 
Eoman in the second and third; finding experimentally that the 
former character was not easily legible, and conceiving that the 
book would be none the worse for this practical illustration of its 
own principles, in a daring sacrifice of symmetry to convenience. 

These alphabetical Indices will, however, be of little use, unless 
-another, and a very different kind of Index, be arranged in the 
mind of the reader; an Index explanatory of the principal pur- 
poses and contents of the various parts of this essay. It is diffi- 
cult to analyze the nature of the reluctance with which either a 
writer or painter takes it upon him to explain the meaning of his 
own work, even in cases where, without such explanation, it 
must in a measure remain always disputable : but I am persuaded 
that this reluctance is, in most instances, carried too far; and 
that, wherever there really is a serious purpose in a book or a 
picture, the author does wrong who, either in modesty or vanity 
{both feelings have their share in producing the dislike of per- 
sonal interpretation), trusts entirely to the patience and intelli- 
gence of the readers or spectators to penetrate into their signifi- 
cance. At all events, I will, as far as possible, spare such trouble 
with respect to these volumes, by stating here, finally and clearly, 
both what they intend and what they contain; and this the 
rather because I have lately noticed, with some surprise, certain 
reviewers announcing as a discovery, what I thought had lain 
palpably on the surface of the book, namely, that " if Mr. Rus- 
kin be right, all the architects, and all the architectural teaching 
of the last three hundred years, must have been wrong." That 
is indeed precisely the fact; and the very thing I meant to say, 
which indeed I thought I had said over and over again. I be- 
lieve the architects of the last three centuries to have been wrong; 
wrong without exception; wrong totally, and from the founda- 
tion. This is exactly the point I have been endeavoring to prove, 
from the beginning of this work to the end of it. But as it 
seems not yet to have been stated clearly enough, I will here try 
to put my entire theorem into an unmistakable form. 

The various nations who attained eminence in the arts before 
the time of Christ, each of them, produced forms of architecture 
which in their various degrees of merit were almost exactly in- 
dicative of the degrees of intellectual and moral energy of the 


nations which originated them; and each reached its greatest 
perfection at the time when the true energy and prosperity of the 
people who had invented it were at their culminating point. 
Many of these various styles of architecture were good, consid- 
ered in relation to the times and races which gave birth to them; 
but none were absolutely good or perfect, or fitted for the prac- 
tice of all future time. 

The advent of Christianity for the first time rendered possible 
the full development of the soul of man, and therefore the full 
development of the arts of man. 

Christianity gave birth to a new architecture, not only im- 
measurably superior to all that had preceded it, but demonstrably 
the best architecture that can exist; perfect in construction and 
decoration, and fit for the practice of all time. 

This architecture, commonly called "Gothic," though in 
conception perfect, like the theory of a Christian character, 
never reached an actual perfection, having been retarded and 
corrupted by various adverse influences; but it reached its high- 
est perfection, hitherto manifested, about the close of the thir- 
teenth century, being then indicative of a peculiar energy in the 
Christian mind of Europe. 

In the course of the fifteenth century, owing to various causes 
which I have endeavored to trace in the preceding pages, the 
Christianity of Europe was undermined; and a Pagan architec- 
ture was introduced, in imitation of that of the Greeks and 

The architecture of the Greeks and Romans themselves was 
not good, but it was natural; and, as I said before, good in some 
respects, and for a particular time. 

But the imitative architecture introduced first in the fifteenth 
century, and practised ever since, was neither good nor natural. 
It was "good in no respect, and for no time. All the architects 
who have built in that style have built what was worthless; and 
therefore the greater part of the architecture which has been 
built for the last three hundred years, and which we are now 
building, is worthless. We must give up this style totally, despise 
it and forget it, and build henceforward only in that perfect and 
Christian style hitherto called Gothic, which is everlastingly the 


This is the theorem of these volumes. 

In support of this theorem, the first volume contains, in its 
first chapter, a sketch of the actual history of Christian archi- 
tecture, up to the period of the Reformation; and, in the subse- 
quent chapters, an analysis of the entire system of the laws of 
architectural construction and decoration, deducing from those 
laws positive conclusions as to the best forms and manners of 
building for all time. 

The second volume contains, in its first five chapters, an ac- 
count of one of the most important and least known forms of 
Christian architecture, as exhibited in Venice, together with an 
analysis of its nature in the fourth chapter; and, which is a pecu- 
liarly important part of this section, an account of the power of 
color over the human mind. 

The sixth chapter of the second volume contains an analysis 
of the nature of Gothic architecture, properly so called, and 
shows that in its external form it complies precisely with the 
abstract laws of structure and beauty, investigated in the first 
volume. The seventh and eighth chapters of the second volume 
illustrate the nature of Gothic architecture by various Venetian 
examples. The third volume investigates, in its first chapter, 
the causes and manner of the corruption of Gothic architecture; 
in its second chapter, defines the nature of the Pagan architec- 
ture which superseded it; in the third chapter, shows the con- 
nexion of that Pagan architecture with the various characters of 
mind which brought about the destruction of the Venetian 
nation; and, in the fourth chapter, points out the dangerous 
tendencies in the modern mind which the practice of such an 
architecture indicates. 

Such is the intention of the preceding pages, which I hope 
will no more be doubted or mistaken. As far as regards the 
manner of its fulfilment, though I hope, in the course of other 
inquiries, to add much to the elucidation of the points in dispute, 
I cannot feel it necessary to apologize for the imperfect handling 
of a subject which the labor of a long life, had I been able to 
bestow it, must still have left imperfectly treated. 



Albert!, Duccio degli, his tomb, iii. 74, 80. 
Alexander III., his defence by Venetians, i. 7. 
Ambrose, St., his verbal subtleties, ii. 320. 
Angelico, Fra, artistical power of, i. 400 ; his influence on Protes- 
tants, ii. 105 ; his coloring, ii. 145. 
Aristotle, his evil influence on the modern mind, ii. 319. 
Averulinus, his book on architecture, iii. 63. 


Barbaro, monuments of the family, iii. 125. 

Barbarossa, Emperor, i. 7, 9. 

Baseggio, Pietro, iii. 199. 

Bellini, John, i. 11 ; his kindness to Albert Durer, i. 383 ; 
general power of, see Venetian Index, under head "Gio- 
vanni Grisostomo ;" Gentile, his brother, iii. 21. 

Berti, Bellincion, ii. 263. 

Browning, Elizabeth B. , her poetry, ii. 206. 

Bunsen, Chevalier, his work on Eomanesque Churches, ii. 381. 

Bunyan, John, his portraiture of constancy, ii. 333 ; of patience, 
ii. 334 ; of vanity, ii. 346 ; of sin, iii. 147. 


Calendario, Filippo, iii. 199. 

Canaletto, i. 24 ; and see Venetian Index under head "Carita." 

Canova, i. 217 ; and see Venetian Index under head " Frari." 

Cappello, Vincenzo, his tomb, iii. 122. 

Caracci, school of the, i. 24. 


Gary, his translation of Dante, ii. 264. 

Cavalli, Jacopo, his tomb, ni. 82. 

Cicero, influence of his philosophy, ii. 317, 318. 

Claude Lorraine, i. 24. 

Comnenus, Manuel, ii. 263. 

Cornaro, Marco, his tomb, iii. 79. 

Correggio, ii. 192. 

Crabbe, naturalism in his poetry, ii. 195. 


Dandolo, Andrea, tomb of, ii. 70 ; Francesco, tomb of, iii. 74 ; 
character of, iii. 76 ; Simon, tomb of, iii. 79. 

Dante, his central position, ii. 340, iii. 158; his system of vir- 
tue, ii. 323 ; his portraiture of sin, iii. 147. 

Daru, his character as a historian, iii. 213. 

Dolci, Carlo, ii. 105. 

Dolfino, Giovanni, tomb of, iii. 78. 

Durer, Albert, his rank as a landscape painter, i. 383 ; his 
power in grotesque, iii. 145. 

Edwin, King, his conversion, iii. 62. 


Faliero, Bertuccio, his tomb, iii. 94; Marino, his house, ii. 

254 ; Vitale, miracle in his time, ii. 61. 
Fergusson, James, his system of beauty, i. 388> 
Foscari, Francesco, his reign, i. 4, iii. 165 ; his tomb, iii. 84 ; 

his countenance, iii. 86. 


Garbett, answer to Mr., i. 403. 
Ghiberti, his sculpture, i. 217. 
Giotto, his system of the virtues, ii. 323, 329, 341; his rank as 

a painter, ii. 188, iii. 172. 
Giulio Romano, i. 23. 
Giustiniani, Marco, his tomb, i. 315 ; Sebastian, ambassador to- 

England, iii. 224. 

Godfrey of Bouillon, his piety, iii. 62. 
Gozzoli, Benozzo, ii. 195. 


Gradenigo, Pietro, ii. 290. 

Grande, Can, della Scala, his tomb, i. 268 (the cornice g in 

Plate XVI. is taken from it), iii. 71. 
Guariento, his Paradise, ii. 296. 
Guercino, ii. 105. 


Hamilton, Colonel, his paper on the Serapeum, ii. 220. 
Hobbima, iii. 184. 
Hunt, William, his painting of peasant boys, ii. 192 ; of still 

life, ii. 394. 
Hunt, William Holman, relation of his works to modern and 

ancient art, iii. 185. 

Knight, Gaily, his work on Architecture, i. 378. 


Leonardo da Vinci, ii. 171. 
Louis XL, iii. 194. 


Martin, John, ii. 104. 

Mastino, Can, della Scala, his tomb, ii. 224, iii. 72. 
Maynard, Miss, her poems, ii. 397. 
Michael Angelo, ii. 134, 188, iii. 56, 90, 99, 158. 
Millais, John E., relation of his works to older art, iii. 185;; 

aerial perspective in his " Huguenot," iii. 47. 
Milton, how inferior to Dante, iii. 147. 
Mocenigo, Tomaso, his character, i. 4 ; his speech on rebuilding- 

the Ducal Palace, ii. 299; his tomb, i. 26, iii. 84. 
Morosini, Carlo, Count, note on Daru's History by, iii. 213. 
Morosini, Marino, his tomb, iii. 93. 

Morosini, Michael, his character, iii. 213; his tomb, iii. 80. 
Murillo, his sensualism, ii. 192. 


Napoleon, his genius in civil administration, i. 399. 
Niccolo Pisano, i. 215. 

Orcagna, his system of the virtues, ii. 329. 
Orseolo, Pietro (Doge), iii. 120. 
Otho the Great, his vow at Murano, ii. 32. 



Palladio, i. 24, 146 ; and see Venetian Index, under head 

" Giorgio Maggiore." 

Participazio, Angelo, founds the Ducal Palace, ii. 287. 
Pesaro, Giovanni, tomb of, iii. 92 ; Jacopo, tomb of, iii. 91. 
Philippe de Commynes, i. 12. 
Plato, influence of his philosophy, ii. 317, 338 ; his playfulness, 

iii. 127. 

Poussin, Nicolo and Gaspar, i. 23. 
Procaccini, Camillo, ii. 188. 
Prout, Samuel, his style, i. 250, iii. 19, 134. 
Pugin, Welby, his rank as an architect, i. 385. 


Querini, Marco, his palace, ii. 255. 


Raffaelle, ii. 188, iii. 56, 108, 136. 

Eeynolds, Sir J., his painting at New College, ii. 323 ; his 

general manner, iii. 184. 
Rogers, Samuel, his works, ii. 195, iii. 113. 
Eubens, intellectual rank of, i. 400 ; coarseness of, ii. 145. 


Salvator Rosa, i. 24, ii. 105, 145J 188. 
Scaligeri, tombs of, at Verona; see "Grande," "Mastino," 

"Signorio;" palace of, ii. 257. 
Scott, Sir W., his feelings of romance, iii. 191. 
Shakspeare, his " Seven Ages," whence derived, ii. 361. 
Sharpe, Edmund, his works, i. 342, 408. 
Signorio, Can, della Scala, his tomb, character, i. 268, iii. 73. 
Simplicius, St., ii. 356. 
Spenser, value of his philosophy, ii. 327, 341 ; his personifications 

of the months, ii. 272; his system of the virtues, ii. 326; 

scheme of the first book of the Faerie Queen, iii. 205. 
Steno, Michael, ii. 306; his tomb, ii. 296. 
Stothard (the painter), his works, ii. 187, 195. 
Symmachus, St., ii. 357. 



Teniers, David, ii. 188. 
Tiepolo, Jacopo and Lorenzo, their tombs, iii. 69 ; Bajamonte, 

ii. 255. 
Tintoret, i. 12 ; his genius and function, ii. 149 ; his Paradise, 

ii. 304, 372 ; his rank among the men of Italy, iii. 158. 
Titian, i. 12; his function and fall, ii. 149, 187. 
Turner, his rank as a landscape painter, i. 382, ii. 187. 


Uguccione, Benedetto, destroys Giotto's fagade at Florence, i. 


Yendramin, Andrea (Doge), his tomb, i. 27, iii. 88. 

Verocchio, Andrea, iii. 11, 13. 

Veronese, Paul, artistical rank of, i. 400; his designs of balus- 
trades, ii. 247 ; and see in Venetian Index, " Ducal Palace," 
"Pisani," "Sebastian," "Kedentore," "Accademia." 


West, Benjamin, ii. 104. 
Wordsworth, his observation of nature, i. 247 (note). 


Zeno, Carlo, i. 4, iii. 80. 

Ziani, Sebastian (Doge), builds Ducal Palace, ii. 289. 




Abbeville, door of church at, ii. 225; parapet at, ii. 245. 
Alexandria, Church at, i. 381. 
Alhambra, ornamentation- of, i. 429. 

Alps, how formed for distant effect, i. 247; how seen from Ven- 
ice, ii. 2, 28. 

Amiens, pillars of Cathedral at, i. 102. 
Arqua, hills of, how seen from Venice, ii. 2. 
Assisi, Giotto's paintings at, ii. 323. 


Beauvais, piers of Cathedral at, i. 93 ; grandeur of its buttress 

structure, i. 170. 
Bergamo, Duomo at, i. 275. 
Bologna, Palazzo Pepoli at, i. 275. 
Bourges, Cathedral at, i. 43, 102, 228, 271, 299; ii. 92, 186; 

house of Jacques Coeur at, i. 346. 


Chamouni, glacier forms at, i. 222. 
Como, Broletto of, i. 141, 339. 


Dijon, pillars in Church of Notre Dame at, i. 102 ; tombs of 
Dukes of Burgundy, iii. 68. 


Edinburgh, college at, i. 207. 



Falaise (St. Gervaise at), piers of, i. 103. 
Florence, Cathedral of, i. 197, iii. 13. 


Gloucester, Cathedral of, i. 192. 


Lombardy, geology of, ii. 5. 

London, Church in Margaret Street, Portland Place, iii. 196; 
Temple Church, i. 412; capitals in Belgrave and Grosvenor 
Squares, i. 330; Bank of England, base of, i. 283; wall of, 
typical of accounts, i. 295; statue in King William Street, 
i. 210; shops in Oxford Street, i. 202; Arthur Club-house, 
i. 295; Athenaeum Club-house, i. 157, 283; Duke of York's 
Pillar, i. 283; Treasury, i. 205; Whitehall, i. 205; Westmin- 
ster, fall of houses at, ii. 268; Monument, i. 82, 283; Nel- 
son Pillar, i. 216; Wellington Statue, i. 257. 

Lucca, Cathedral of, ii. 275; San Michele at, i. 375. 

Lyons, porch of cathedral at, i. 379. 


Matterhorn (Mont Cervin), structure of, i. 58; lines of, applied 

to architecture, i. 308, 310, 332. 
Mestre, scene in street of, i. 355. 
Milan, St. Ambrogio, piers of, i. 102; capital of, i. 324; St. Eu- 

stachio, tomb of St. Peter Martyr, i. 218. 
Moulins, brickwork at, i. 296. 
Murano, general aspect of, ii. 29; Duomo of, ii. 32; balustrades 

of, ii. 247; inscriptions at, ii. 384. 


Nineveh, style of its decorations, i. 234, 239; iii. 159. 

Orange (South France), arch at, i. 250. 
Orleans, Cathedral of, i. 95. 


Padua, Arena chapel at, ii. 324; St. Antonio at, i. 135; St. Sofia 
at, i. 327; Eremitani, Church of, at, i. 135. 


Paris, Hotel des Invalides, i. 214; Arc de 1'Etoile, i. 291 ; Co- 

lonne Vendome, i. 212. 

Pavia, St. Michele at, piers of, i. 102, 337; ornaments of, i. 376. 
Pisa, Baptistery of, ii. 275. 
Pistoja, San Pietro at, i. 295. 


Ravenna, situation of, ii. 6. 

Rouen, Cathedral, piers of, i. 103, 153; pinnacles of, ii. 213; St. 
Maclou at, sculptures of, ii. 197. 


Salisbury Cathedral, piers of, i. 102; windows at, ii. 224. 
Sens, Cathedral of, i. 135. 
Switzerland, cottage architecture of, i. 156, 203, iii. 133. 


Verona, San Fermo at, i. 136, ii. 259 ; Sta. Anastasia at, i. 142; 

Duomo of, i. 373; St. Zeno at, i. 373; balconies at, ii. 247; 

archivolt at, i. 335 ; tombs at, see in Personal Index, 

"Grande," "Mastino," "Signorio." 
Vevay, architecture of, i. 136. 
Vienne (South France), Cathedral of, i. 274. 


Warwick, Guy's tower at, i. 168. 
Wenlock (Shropshire), Abbey of, i. 270. 
Winchester, Cathedral of, i. 192. 


York, Minster of, i. 205, 313. 




Abacus, defined, i. 107 ; law of its proportion, i. 111-115 ; its 

connection with cornices, i. 116; its various profiles, i. 319- 

323; iii. 243-248. 
Acanthus, leaf of, its use in architecture, i. 233; how treated at 

Torcello, ii. 15. 

Alabaster, use of, in incrustation, ii. 86. 
Anachronism, necessity of, in the best art, ii. 198. 
Anatomy, a disadvantageous study for artists, iii. 47. 
Angels, use of their images in Venetian heraldry, ii. 278; statues 

of, on the Ducal Palace, ii. 311. 
Anger, how symbolically represented, ii. 344. 
Angles, decoration of, i. 260; ii. 305; of Gothic Palaces, ii. 238; 

of Ducal Palace, ii. 307. 
Animal character in northern and Southern climates, ii. 156; in 

grotesque art, iii. 149. 
Apertures, analysis of their structure, i. 50 ; general forms of, 

i. 174. 
Apse, forms of, in southern and northern churches compared, i. 


Arabesques of Kaffaelle, their baseness, iii. 136. 
Arabian architecture, i. 18, 234, 235, 429; ii. 135. 
Arches, general structure of, i. 122; moral characters of, i. 126 ; 

lancet, round, and depressed, i. 129; four-centred, i. 130; 

ogee, i. 131; non-concentric, i. 133, 341; masonry of, i. 133, 

ii. 218; load of, i. 144; are not derived from vegetation, ii. 



Architects, modern, their unfortunate position, i. 404, 407. 

Architecture, general view of its divisions, i. 47-51 ; how to 
judge of it, ii. 173; adaptation of, to requirements of hu- 
man mind, iii. 192; richness of early domestic, ii. 100, iii. 
2; manner of its debasement in general, iii. 3. 

Archivolts, decoration of, i. 334; general families of, i. 335; of 
Murano, ii. 49; of St. Mark's, ii. 95; in London, ii. 97; By- 
zantine, ii. 138; profiles of, iii. 244. 

Arts, relative dignity of, i. 395 ; how represented in Venetian 
sculpture, ii. 355 ; what relation exists between them and 
their materials, ii. 394; art divided into the art of facts, of 
design, and of both, ii. 183; into purist, naturalist, and sen- 
sualist, ii. 187 ; art opposed to inspiration, iii. 151 ; de- 
fined, iii. 170 ; distinguished from science, iii. 35 ; how to 
enjoy that of the ancients, iii. 188. 

Aspiration, not the primal motive of Gothic work, i. 151. 

Astrology, judicial, representation of its doctrines in Venetian 
sculpture, ii. 352. 

Austrian government in Italy, iii. 209. 

Avarice, how represented figuratively, ii. 344. 


Backgrounds, diapered, iii. 20. 

Balconies, of Venice, ii. 243 ; general treatment of, iii. 254 ; of 

iron, ii. 247. 

Ballflower, its use in ornamentation, i. 279. 
Balustrades. See "Balconies." 
Bases, general account of, iii. 225; of walls, i. 55; of piers, i. 73; 

of shafts, i. 84; decoration of, i. 281; faults of Gothic profiles 

of, i. 285; spurs of, i. 286; beauty of, in St. Mark's, i. 290; 

Lombardic, i. 292; ought not to be richly decorated, i. 292; 

general effect of, ii. 387. 

Battlements, i. 162; abuse of, in ornamentation, i. 219. 
Beauty and ornament, relation of the terms, i. 404. 
Bellstones of capitals defined, i. 108. 
Birds, use of in ornamentation, i. 234, ii. 140. 
Bishops, their ancient authority, ii. 25. 
Body, its relation to the soul, i. 41, 395. 
Brackets, division of, i. 161; ridiculous forms of, i. 161. 


Breadth in Byzantine design, ii. 133. 

Brickwork, ornamental, i. 296; in general, ii. 241, 260, 261. 

Brides of Venice, legend of the, iii. 113, 116. 

Buttresses, general structure of, i. 166; flying, i. 192; supposed 

sanctity of, i. 173. 

Bull, symbolical use of, in representing rivers, i. 418, 421, 424. 
Byzantine style, analysis of, ii. 75; ecclesiastical fitness of, ii. 97; 

centralization in, ij. 236; palaces built in, ii. 118; sculptures 

in, ii. 137, 140. 


Candlemas, ancient symbols of, ii. 272. 

Capitals, general structure of, i. 105; bells of, i. 107; just pro- 
portions of, i. 114; various families of, i. 13, 65, 324, ii. 129, 
iii. 231; are necessary to shafts in good architecture, i. 119; 
Byzantine, ii. 131, iii. 231; Lily/of St. Mark's, ii. 137; of 
Solomon's temple, ii. 137. 

Care, how symbolized, ii. 348. See " Sorrow." 

Caryatides, i. 302. 

Castles, English, entrances of, i. 177. 

Cathedrals, English, effect of, ii. 63. 

Ceilings, old Venetian, ii. 280. 

Centralization in design, ii. 237. 

Chalet of Switzerland, its character, i. 203. 

Chamfer defined, i. 263; varieties of, i. 262, 429. 

Changefulness, an element of Gothic, ii. 172. 

Charity, how symbolized, ii. 327, 339. 

Chartreuse, Grande, morbid life in, iii. 190. 

Chastity, how symbolized, ii. 328. 

Cheerfulness, how symbolized, ii. 326, 348; virtue of, ii. 326. 

Cherries, cultivation of, at Venice, ii. 361. 

Christianity, how mingled with worldliness, iii. 109 ; how im- 
perfectly understood, iii. 168 ; influence of, in liberating 
workmen, ii. 159, i. 243; influence of, on forms, i. 99. 

Churches, wooden, of the North, i. 381; considered as ships, ii. 
25; decoration of, how far allowable, ii. 102. 

Civilization, progress of, iii. 168; two-fold danger of, iii. 169. 

Classical literature, its effect on the modern mind, iii. 12. 

Climate, its influence on architecture, i. 151, ii. 155, 203. 


Color, its importance in early work, ii, 38, 40, 78, 91; its spiritu- 
ality, ii. 145, 396; its relation to music, iii. 186; quartering 
of, iii. 20; how excusing realization, iii. 186. 

Commerce, how regarded by Venetians, i. 6. 

Composition, definition of the term, ii. 182. 

Constancy, how symbolized, ii. 333. 

Construction, architectural, how admirable, i. 36. 

Convenience, how consulted by Gothic architecture, ii. 179. 

Cornices, general divisions of, i. 63, iii. 248; of walls, i. 60; of 
roofs, i. 149; ornamentation of, i. 305; curvatures of, i. 310; 
military, i. 160; Greek, i. 157. 

Courses in walls, i. 60. 

Crockets, their use in ornamentation, i. 346; thair abuse at Ve- 
nice, iii. 109. 

Crosses, Byzantine, ii. 139. 

Crusaders, character of the, ii. 263. 

Crystals, architectural appliance of, i. 225. 

Cupid, representation of, in early and later art, ii. 342. 

Curvature, on what its beauty depends, i. 222, iii. 5. 

Cusps, definition of, i. 135; groups of, i. 138; relation of, to vege- 
tation, ii. 219; general treatment of, iii. 255; earliest occur- 
rence of, ii. 220. 


Daguerreotype, probable results of, iii. 169. 

Darkness, a character of early churches, ii. 18; not an abstract 
evil, iii. 220. 

Death, fear of, in Renaissance times, iii. 65, 90, 92; how ancient- 
ly regarded, iii. 139, 156. 

Decoration, true nature of, i. 405; how to judge of, i. 44, 45. See 

Demons, nature of, how illustrated by Milton and Dante, iii. 

Dentil, Venetian, defined, i. 273, 275. 

Design, definition of the term, n. 183; its relations to naturalism, 
n. 184. 

Despair, how symbolized, 11. 334. 

Diapei patterns in brick, i. 296; in color, m. 21, 22. 

Discord, how symbolized, n. 333. 


Discs, decoration by means of, i. 240, 416; ii. 147, 264. 

Division of labor, evils of, ii. 165. 

Doge of Venice, his power, i. 3, 360. 

Dogtooth moulding defined, i. 269. 

Dolphins, moral disposition of, i. 230; use of, in symbolic repre- 
sentation of sea, i. 422, 423. 

Domestic architecture, richness of, in middle ages, ii. 99. 

Doors, general structure of, i. 174, 176; smallness of in English 
cathedrals, i. 176; ancient Venetian, ii. 277, iii. 227. 

Doric architecture, i. 157, 301, 307; Christian Doric, i. 308, 315. 

Dragon, conquered by St. Donatus, ii. 33; use of, in ornamenta- 
tion, ii. 219. 

Dreams, how resembled by the highest arts, iii. 153; prophetic, 
in relation to the Grotesque, iii. 156. 

Dress, its use in ornamentation, i. 212; early Venetian, ii. 383; 
dignity of, iii. 191; changes in modern dress, iii. 192. 

Duties of buildings, i. 47. 


Earthquake of 1511, ii. 242. 

Eastern races, their power over color, ii. 147. 

Eaves, construction of, i. 156. 

Ecclesiastical architecture in Venice, i. 20; no architecture ex- 
clusively ecclesiastical, n. 99. 

Edge decoration, i. 268. 

Education, University, i. 391; iii. 110; evils of, with respect to 
architectural workmen, ii. 107; how to be successfully under- 
taken, ii. 165, 214; modern education in general, how mis- 
taken, iii. 110, 234; system of, in Plato, ii. 318; of Persian 
kings, ii. 318; not to be mistaken for erudition, iii. 219; 
ought to be universal, iii. 220. 

Egg and arrow mouldings, i. 314. 

Egyptian architecture, i. 99, 239; ii. 203. 

Elgin marbles, ii. 171. 

Encrusted architecture, i. 271, 272; general analysis of, ii. 76. 

Energy of Northern Gothic, i. 371; ii. 16, 204. 

English (early) capitals, faults of, i. 100, 411; English mind, its 
mistaken demands of perfection, ii. 160. 

Envy, how set forth, ii. 346. 

Evangelists, types of, how explicable, iii. 155. 



Faerie Queen, Spenser's, value of, theologically, ii. 328. 

Faith, influence of on art, ii. 104, 105; Titian's picture of, i. 11; 
how symbolized, ii. 337. 

Falsehood, how symbolized, ii. 349. 

Fatalism, how expressed in Eastern architecture, ii. 205. 

Fear, effect of, on human life, iii. 137; on Grotesque art, iii. 142. 

Feudalism, healthy effects of, i. 184. 

Fig-tree, sculpture of, on Ducal Palace, ii. 307. 

Fillet, use of, in ornamentation, i. 267. 

Finials, their use in ornamentation, i. 346; a sign of decline in 
Venetian architecture, iii. 109. 

Finish in workmanship, when to be required, ii. 165; dangers of, 
iii. 170, ii. 162. 

Fir, spruce, influence of, on architecture, i. 152. 

Fire, forms of, in ornamentation, i. 228. 

Fish, use of, in ornamentation, i. 229. 

Flamboyant Gothic, i. 278, ii. 225. 

Flattery, common in Eenaissance times, iii. 64. 

Flowers, representation of, how desirable, i. 340; how repre- 
sented in mosaic, iii. 179. 

Fluting of columns, a mistake, i. 301. 

Foils, definition of, ii. 221. 

Foliage, how carved in declining periods, iii. 8, 17. See " Vege- 

Foliation defined, ii. 219; essential to Gothic architecture, ii. 

Folly, how symbolized, ii. 325, 348. 

Form of Gothic, defined, ii. 209. 

Fortitude, how symbolized, ii. 337. 

Fountains, symbolic representations of, i. 427. 

French architecture, compared with Italian, ii. 226. 

Frivolity, how exhibited in Grotesque art, iii. 143. 

Fruit, its use in ornamentation, i. 232. 


Gable, general structure of, i. 124; essential to Gothic, ii. 210, 


Gardens, Italian, iii. 136. 

Generalization, abuses of, iii. 176. 

Geology of Lombardy, ii. 5. 

Glass, its capacities in architecture, i. 409; manufacture of, ii. 
166; true principles of working in, ii. 168, 395. 

Gluttony, how symbolized, ii. 343. 

Goldsmiths' work, a high form of art, ii. 166. 

Gondola, management of, ii. 375. 

Gothic architecture, analysis of, ii. 151; not derived from vege- 
table structure, i. 121; convenience of, ii. 178; divisions of, 
ii. 215; surface and linear, ii. 226; Italian and French, ii. 
226; flamboyant, i. 278, ii. 225; perpendicular, i. 192, ii. 
223, 227; early English, i. 109; how to judge of it, ii. 228; 
how fitted for domestic purposes, ii. 269, iii. 195; how first 
corrupted, iii. 3; how to be at present built, iii. 196; early 
Venetian, ii. 248 ; ecclesiastical Venetian, i. 21; central 
Venetian, ii. 231; how adorned by color in Venice, iii. 23. 

Government of Venice, i. 2, ii. 366. 

Grammar, results of too great study of it, iii. 55, 106. 

Greek architecture, general character of, i. 240, ii. 215, iii. 159. 

Grief. See "Sorrow." 

Griffins, Lombardic, i. 292, 387. 

Grotesque, analysis of, iii. 132; in changes of form, i. 317; in 
Venetian painting, iii. 162; symbolical, iii. 155; its charac- 
ter in Kenaissance work, iii. 113, 121, 136, 143. 

Gutters of roofs, i. 151. 

Heathenism, typified in ornament, i. 317. See " Paganism." 
Heaven and Hell, proofs of their existence in natural phenomena, 

iii. 138. 

History, how to be written and read, iii. 224. 
Hobbima, iii. 184. 
Honesty, how symbolized, ii. 349. 
Hope, how symbolized, ii. 341. 
Horseshoe arches, i. 129, ii. 249, 250. 
Humanity, spiritual nature of, i. 41; divisions of, with respect to 

art, i. 394. 
Humility, how symbolized, ii. 339. 


Idleness, how symbolized, ii. 345. 

Idolatry, proper sense of the term, ii. 388; is no encourager of 

art, ii. 110. See "Popery." 
Imagination, its relation to art, iii. 182. 

Imitation of precious stones, &c., how reprehensible, iii. 26, 30. 
Imposts, continuous, i. 120. 
Infidelity, how symbolized, ii. 335; an element of the Renais- 

sance spirit, iii. 100. 
Injustice, how symbolized, ii. 349. 
Inlaid ornamentation, i. 369; perfection of, in early Renaissance, 

iii. 26. 

Inscriptions at Murano, ii. 47, 54; use of, in early times, ii. 111. 
Insects, use of, in ornamentation, i. 230. 
Inspiration, how opposed to art, iii. 151, 171. 
Instinct, its dignity, iii. 171. 
Intellect, how variable in dignity, iii. 173. 
Involution, delightfulness of, in ornament, ii. 136. 
Iron, its use in architecture, i. 184, 410. , 

Italians, modern character of, iii. 209. 
Italy, how ravaged by recent war, iii. 209. 


Jambs, Gothic, iii. 137. 

Jesting, evils of, iii. 129. 

Jesuits, their restricted power in Venice, i. 366. 

Jewels, their cutting, a bad employment, ii. 166. 

Judgments, instinctive, i. 399. 

Job, book of, its purpose, iii. 53. 


Keystones, how mismanaged in Renaissance work. See Venetian 

Index, under head "Libreria." 
Knowledge, its evil consequences, iii. 40; how to be received, iii. 

50, &c. See "Education." 


Labor, manual, ornamental value of, i. 407; evils of its division, 
ii. 165; is not a degradation, ii. 168. 


Labyrinth, in Venetian streets, its clue, ii. 254. 

Lagoons, Venetian, nature of, ii. 7, 8. 

Landscape, lower schools of, i. 24; Venetian, ii. 149; modern love 
of, ii. 175, iii. 123. 

Laws of right in architecture, i. 32; laws in general, how per- 
missibly violated, i. 255, ii. 210; their position with respect 
to art, iii. 96; and to religion, iii. 205. 

Leaves, use of, in ornamentation, i. 232 (see " Vegetation") ; 
proportion of, ii. 128. 

Liberality, how symbolized, ii. 333. 

Life in Byzantine architecture, ii. 133. 

Lilies, beautiful proportions of, ii. 128 ; used for parapet orna- 
ments, ii. 242; lily capitals, ii. 137. 

Limitation of ornament, i. 254. 

Lines, abstract use of, in ornament, i. 221. 

Lintel, its structure, i. 124, 126. 

Lion, on piazzetta shafts, iii. 238. 

Load, of arches, i. 133. 

Logic, a contemptible science, iii. 106. 

Lombardic architecture, i. 17. 

Lotus leaf, its use in architecture, i. 233. 

Love, its power over human life, iii. 137. 

Lusts, their power over human nature, how symbolized by Spen- 
ser, ii. 328. 

Luxury, how symbolized, ii. 342; how traceable in ornament, 
iii. 4; of Renaissance schools, iii. 61. 


Madonna, Byzantine representations of, ii. 53. 

Magnitude, vulgar admiration of, iii. 64. 

Malmsey, use of, in Feast of the Maries, iii. 117. 

Marble, its uses, iii. 27. 

Maries, Feast of the, iii. 117. 

Mariolatry, ancient and modern, ii. 55. 

Marriages of Venetians, iii, 116. 

Masonry, Mont-Cenisian, i.132; of walls, i. 61; of arches, i. 133. 

Materials, invention of new, how injurious to art, iii. 42. 

Misery, how symbolized, ii. 347. 

Modesty, how symbolized, ii. 335. 


Monotony, its place in art, ii. 176. 

Months, personifications of, in ancient art, ii. 272. 

Moroseness, its guilt, iii. 130. 

Mosaics at Torcello, ii. 18, 19 , at St. Mark's, ii. 70, 112 ; early- 
character of, ii. 110, iii. 175, 178. 

Music, its relation to color, iii. 186. 

Mythology of Venetian painters, ii. 150 ; ancient, how injurious 
to the Christian mind, iii. 107. 


Natural history, how necessary a study, iii. 54. 

Naturalism, general analysis of it with respect to art, ii. 181, 
190 ; its advance in Gothic art, iii. 6 ; not to be found in 
the encrusted style, ii. 89 ; its presence in the noble Gro- 
tesque, iii. 144. 

Nature (in the sense of material universe) not improvable by art, 
i. 350 ; its relation to architecture, i. 351. 

Niches, use of, in Northern Gothic, i. 278 ; in Venetian, ii. 240 ; 
in French and Veronese, ii. 227. 

Norman hatchet-work, i. 297 ; zigzag, i. 339. 

Novelty, its necessity to the human mind, ii. 176. 

Oak-tree, how represented in symbolical art, iii. 185. 

Obedience, how symbolized, ii. 334. 

Oligarchical government, its effect on the Venetians, i. 5. 

Olive-tree, neglect of, by artists, iii. 175 ; general expression of, 
iii. 176, 177 ; representations of, in mosaic, iii. 178. 

Order, uses and disadvantages of, ii. 172. 

Orders, Doric and Corinthian, i. 13 ; ridiculous divisions of, i. 
157, 370 ; ii. 173, 249 ; iii. 99. 

Ornament, material of, i. 211 ; the best, expresses man's delight 
in God's work, i. 220 ; not in his own, i. 211 ; general treat- 
ment of, i. 236 ; is necessarily imperfect, i. 237, 240 ; di- 
vided into servile, subordinate, and insubordinate, i. 242, ii. 
158 ; distant effect of, i. 248 ; arborescent, i. 252 ; restrained 
within limits, i. 255; cannot be overcharged if good, i. 406.. 

Oxford, system of education at, i. 391. 



Paganism, revival of its power in modern times, iii. 105, 107 

Painters, their power of perception, iii. 37 ; influence of society 

on, iii. 41 ; what they should know, iii. 41 ; what is their 

business, iii. 187. 

Palace, the Crystal, merits of, i. 409. 
Palaces, Byzantine, ii. 118, 391 ; Gothic, ii. 231. 
Papacy. See "Popery." 
Parapets, i. 162, ii. 240. 
Parthenon, curves of, ii. 127. 
Patience, how symbolized, ii. 334. 
Pavements, ii. 52. 
Peacocks, sculpture of, i. 240. 
Pedestals of shafts, i. 82 ; and see Venetian Index under head 

"Giorgio Maggiore." 
Perception opposed to knowledge, iii. 37. 
Perfection, inordinate desire of, destructive of art, i. 237; ii. 133 r 

158, 169. 

Perpendicular style, i. 190, 253; ii. 223, 227. 
Personification, evils of, ii. 322. 
Perspective, aerial, ridiculous exaggerations of, iii. 45 ; ancient 

pride in, iii. 57 ; absence of, in many great works, see in 

Venetian Index the notice of Tintoret's picture of the 

Pool of Bethesda, under head "Kocco." 
Phariseeism and Liberalism, how opposed, iii. 97. 
Philology, a base science, iii. 54. 

Piazzetta at Venice, plan of, ii. 283 ; shafts of, ii. 233. 
Pictures, judgment of, how formed, ii. 371 ; neglect of, in Venice, 

ii. 372 ; how far an aid to religion, ii. 104, 110. 
Picturesque, definition of term, iii. 134. 
Piers, general structure of, i. 71, 98, 118. 
Pilgrim's Progress. See "Bunyan." 
Pine of Italy, its effect on architecture, i. 152 ; of Alps, effect in 

distance, i. 245. See "Fir." 
Pinnacles are of little practical service, i. 170 ; their effect on com- 

. mon roofs, i. 347- 
Play, its relation to Grotesque art, iii. 126. 


Pleasure, its kinds and true uses, iii. 189* 

Popery, how degraded in contest with Protestantism, i. 34, iii. 
103 ; its influence on art, i. 23, 34, 35, 384, 432, ii. 51 ; typi- 
fied in ornament, i. 316 ; power of Pope in Venice, i. 362 ; 
arts used in support of Popery, ii. 74. 

Porches, i. 195. 

Portraiture, power of, in Venice, iii. 164. 

Posture-making in Renaissance art, iii. 90. 

Prayers, ancient and modern, difference between, ii. 315, 

Pre-Raphaelitism, iii. 90 ; present position of, iii. 168, 174, 188. 

Pride, how symbolized, ii. 343, iii. 207 ; of knowledge, iii. 35 ; 
of state, iii. 59 ; of system, iii. 95. 

Priests, restricted power of, in Venice, i. 366. 

Proportions, subtlety of, in early work, ii. 38, 121, 127. 

Protestantism, its influence on art, i. 23 ; typified in ornament, 
i. 316 ; influence of, on prosperity of nations, i. 368 ; expen- 
diture in favor of, i. 434 ; is incapable of judging of art, ii. 
105 ; how expressed in art, ii. 205 ; its errors in opposing 
Romanism, iii. 102, 103, 104 ; its shame of religious confes- 
sion, ii. 278. 

Prudence, how symbolized, ii. 340. 

Pulpits, proper structure of, ii. 22, 380. 

Purism in art, its nature and definition, ii. 189. 

Purity, how symbolized, iii. 20. 


Quadrupeds, use of in ornamentation, i. 234. 
Quantity of ornament, its regulation, i. 23. 


Rationalism, its influence on art, i. 23. 
Realization, how far allowable in noble art, iii. 182, 186. 
Recesses, decoration of, i. 278. 
Recumbent statues, iii. 72. 
Redundance, an element of Gothic, ii. 206. 
Religion, its influence on Venetian policy, i. 6 ; how far aided 

by pictorial art, ii. 104, 109 ; contempt of, in Renaissance 

times, iii. 122. 


Eenaissance architecture, nature of, iii. 33 ; early, iii. 1 ; Byzan- 
tine, iii. 15 ; Roman, iii. 32 ; Grotesque, iii. 112 ; inconsis- 
tencies of, iii. 42, etc. 

Eeptiles, how used in ornamentation, i. 230. 

Resistance, line of, in arches, i. 126. 

Restraint, ornamental, value of, i. 255. 

Reverence, how ennobling to humanity, ii. 163. 

Rhetoric, a base study, iii. 106. 

Rigidity, an element of Gothic, ii. 203. 

Rivers, symbolical representation of, i. 419, 420. 

Rocks, use of, in ornamentation, i. 224 ; organization of, i. 246; 
curvatures of, i. 58, 224. 

Roll-mouldings, decoration of, i. 276. 

Romance, modern errors of, ii. 4 ; how connected with dress, iii. 

Romanesque style, i. 15, 19, 145; ii. 215. See "Byzantine," and 

Romanism. See " Popery." 

Roofs, analysis of, i. 46, 148; ii. 212, 216 ; domed, i. 149 ; Swiss, 
i. 149, 345 ; steepness of, conducive to Gothic character, i. 
151, ii. 209 ; decoration of, i. 343. 

Rustication, is ugly and foolish, i. 65 ; natural objects of which 
it produces a resemblance, j. 296. 


Salvia, its leaf applied to architecture, i. 287, 306. 

Sarcophagi, Renaissance treatment of, iii. 90 ; ancient, iii. 69, 

Satellitic shafts, i. 95. 

Satire in Grotesque art, iii. 126, 145. 

Savageness, the first element of Gothic, ii. 155 ; in Grotesque 
art, iii. 159. 

Science opposed to art, iii. 36. 

Sculpture, proper treatment of, i. 216, &c. 

Sea, symbolical representations of, i. 352, 421 ; natural waves of, 
i. 351. 

Sensualism in art, its nature and definition, ii. 189 ; how re- 
deemed by color, ii. 145. 

Serapeum at Memphis, cusps of, ii. 220. 


Sermons, proper manner of regarding them, ii. 22 ; mode of 

their delivery in Scotch church, ii. 381. 
Serrar del Consiglio, ii. 291. 
Shafts, analysis of, i. 84 ; vaulting shafts, i. 145 ; ornamentation 

of, i. 300 ; twisted, by what laws regulated, i. 303 ; strength 

of, i. 402 ; laws by which they are regulated in encrusted 

style, ii. 82. 

Shields, use of, on tombs, ii. 224, iii. 87. 
Shipping, use of, in ornamentation, i. 215. 
Shops in Venice, ii. 65. 
Sight, how opposed to thought, iii. 39. 
Simplicity of life in thirteenth century, ii. 263. 
Sin, how symbolized in Grotesque art, iii. 141. 
Slavery of Greeks and Egyptians, ii. 158 ; of English Workmen, 

ii. 162, 163. 

Society, unhealthy state of, in modern times, ii. 163. 
Sorrow, how sinful, ii. 325 ; how symbolized, ii. 347. 
Soul, its development in art, iii. 173, 188 ; its connection with 

the body, i. 41, 395. 

Spandrils, structure of, i. 146 ; decoration of, i. 297. 
Spirals, architectural value of, i. 222, ii. 16. 
Spurs of bases, i. 79. 

Staircases, i. 208 ; of Gothic palaces, ii. 280. 
Stucco, when admissible, iii. 21. 
Subordination of ornament, i. 240. 
Superimposition of buildings, i. 200 ; ii. 386. 
Surface-Gothic, explanation of term, ii. 225, 227. 
Symbolism, i. 417 ; how opposed to personification, ii. 322, 
System, pride of, how hurtful, iii. 95, 99. 


Temperance, how symbolized, ii. 338 ; temperance in color and 

curvature, iii. 420. 

Theology, opposed to religion, iii. 216 ; of Spencer, iii. 205. 
Thirteenth century, its high position with respect to art, ii. 263. 
Thought, opposed to sight, iii. 39. 
Tombs at Verona, i. 142, 412 ; at Venice, ii. 69 ; early Christian, 

iii. 67 ; Gothic, iii. 71 ; Renaissance treatment of, iii. 84. 
Towers, proper character of, i. 204 ; of St. Mark's, i. 207. 


Traceries, structure of, i. 184, 185 ; flamboyant, i. 189 ; stump, 
i. 189 ; English perpendicular, i. 190, ii. 222 ; general char- 
acter of, ii. 220 ; strength of, in Venetian Gothic, ii. 234, 
iii. 253 ; general forms of tracery bars, iii. 250. 

Treason, how detested by Dante, ii. 327. 

Trees, use of, in ornamentation, i. 231. 

Trefoil, use of, in ornamentation, ii. 42. 

Triangles, used for ornaments at Murano, ii. 43. 

Tribune at Torcello, ii. 24. 

Triglyphs, ugliness of, i. 43. 

Trunkmakers, their share in recovery of Brides of Venice, iii. 
117, 118. 

Truth, relation of, to religion, in Spenser's "Faerie Queen," iii. 
205; typified by stones, iii. 31. 

Tympanum, decoration of, i. 299. 


Unity of Venetian nobility, i. 10. 

Vain glory, speedy punishment of, iii. 122. 

Vanity, how symbolized, ii. 346. 

Variety in ornamental design, importance of, ii. 43, 133, 142, 

Vegetation, use of, in ornamentation, i. 232 ; peculiar meaning 
of, in Gothic, ii. 199 ; how connected with cusps, ii. 219. 

Veil (wall veil), construction of, i. 58 ; decoration of, i. 294. 

Vine, Lombardic sculpture of, i. 375 ; at Torcello, ii. 15 ; use 
of, in ornamentation, ii. 141 ; in symbolism, ii. 143 ; sculp- 
ture of, on Ducal Palace, ii. 308. 

Virtues, how symbolized in sepulchral monuments, iii. 82, 86 ; 
systems of, in Pagan and Christian philosophy, ii. 312 ; 
cardinal, ii. 317, 318, 320; of architecture, i. 36, 44. 

Voussoirs defined, i. 125 ; contest between them and architraves, 

i. 336. 


Walls, general analysis of their structure, i. 48 ; bases of, i. 
52, 53 ; cornices of, i. 63 ; rustication of, i. 61, 338 ; decora- 
tion of, i. 294 ; courses in, i. 61, 295. 


Water, its use in ornamentation, i. 226 ; ancient representations 

of, i. 417. 

Weaving, importance of associations connected with, ii. 136. 
Wells, old Venetian, ii. 279. 
Windows, general forms of, i. 179 ; Arabian, i. 180, ii. 135 ; 

square-headed, ii. 211, 269 ; development of, in Venice, ii. 

235 ; orders of, in Venice, ii. 248 ; advisable form of, in 

modern buildings, ii. 269. 
Winds, how symbolized at Venice, ii. 367. 
Wooden architecture, i. 381. 
Womanhood, virtues of, as given by Spenser, ii. 326. 

Zigzag, Norman, i. 339. 


I HAVE endeavored to make the following index as useful as 
possible to the traveller, by indicating only the objects which are 
really worth his study. A traveller's interest, stimulated as it 
is into strange vigor by the freshness of every impression, and 
deepened by the sacredness of the charm of association which 
long familiarity with any scene too fatally wears away,* is too 
precious a thing to be heedlessly wasted ; and as it is physically 
impossible to see and to understand more than a certain quantity 
of art in a given time, the attention bestowed on second-rate 
works, in such a city as Venice, is not merely lost, but actually 
harmful, deadening the interest and confusing the memory 
with respect to those which it is a duty to enjoy, and a disgrace 
to forget. The reader need not fear being misled by any omis- 
sions; for I have conscientiously pointed out every characteristic 
example, even of the styles which I dislike, and have referred to 
Lazari in all instances in which my own information failed: but 
if he is in any wise willing to trust me, I should recommend 
him to devote his principal attention, if he is fond of paintings, 

* " Am I in Italy? Is this the Hindus? 
Are those the distant turrets of Verona ? 
And shall I sup where Juliet at the Masque 
Saw her loved Montague, and now sleeps by him? 
Such questions hourly do I ask myself; 
And not a stone in a crossway inscribed 
' To Mantua,' ' To Ferrara,' but excites 
Surprise, and doubt, and self -congratulation." 

Alas, after a few short months, spent even in the scenes dearest to his- 
tory, we can feel thus no more. 


to the works of Tintoret, Paul Veronese, and John Bellini ; not 
of course neglecting Titian, yet remembering that Titian can be 
well and thoroughly studied in almost any great European 
gallery, while Tintoret and Bellini can be judged of only in 
Venice, and Paul Veronese, though gloriously represented by 
the two great pictures in the Louvre, and many others through- 
out Europe, is yet not to be fully estimated until he is seen at 
play among the fantastic chequers of the Venetian ceilings. 

I have supplied somewhat copious notices of the pictures of 
Tintoret, because they are much injured, difficult to read, and 
entirely neglected by other writers on art. I cannot express the 
astonishment and indignation I felt on finding, in Kugler's 
handbook, a paltry cenacolo, painted probably in a couple of 
hours for a couple of zecchins, for the monks of St. Trovaso, 
quoted as characteristic of this master ; just as foolish readers 
quote separate stanzas of Peter Bell or the Idiot Boy, as charac- 
teristic of Wordsworth. Finally, the reader is requested to 
observe, that the dates assigned to the various buildings named 
in the following index, are almost without exception conjectural ; 
that is to say, founded exclusively on the internal evidence of 
which a portion has been given in the Final Appendix. It is 
likely, therefore, that here and there, in particular instances, 
further inquiry may prove me to have been deceived ; but such 
occasional errors are not of the smallest importance with respect 
to the general conclusions of the preceding pages, which will be 
found to rest on too broad a basis to be disturbed. 


ACCADEMIA DELLE BELLE Aim. Notice above the door the 
two bas-reliefs of St. Leonard and St. Christopher, chiefly 
remarkable for their rude cutting at so late a date as 1377 ; 
but the niches under which they stand are unusual in their 
bent gables, and in little crosses within circles which fill their 
cusps. The traveller is generally too much struck by Titian's 
great picture of the " Assumption," to be able to pay proper 
attention to the other works in this gallery. Let him, how- 
ever, ask himself candidly, how much of his admiration is 


dependent merely upon the picture being larger than any other 
in the room, and having bright masses of red and blue in it : 
let him be assured that the picture is in reality not one whit 
the better for being either large, or gaudy in color ; and he 
will then be better disposed to give the pains necessary to dis- 
cover the merit of the more profound and solemn works of 
Bellini and Tintoret. One of the most wonderful works in 
the whole gallery is Tintoret's " Death of Abel," on the left of 
the " Assumption ;" the " Adam and Eve," on the right of it, 
is hardly inferior ; and both are more characteristic examples 
of the master, and in many respects better pictures, than the 
much vaunted " Miracle of St. Mark." All the works of 
Bellini in this room are of great beauty and interest. In the 
great room, that which contains Titian's "Presentation of the 
Virgin," the traveller should examine carefully all the pictures 
by Vittor Carpaccio and Gentile Bellini, which represent 
scenes in ancient Venice ; they are full of interesting archi- 
tecture and costume. Marco Basaiti's "Agony in the Gar- 
den" is a lovely example of the religious school. The Tin- 
torets in this room are all second rate, but most of the 
Veronese are good, and the large ones are magnificent. 

ALVISE, CHURCH OF ST. I have never been in this church, but 
Lazari dates its interior, with decision, as of the year 1388, 
and it may be worth a glance, if the traveller has time. 
ANDREA, CHURCH OF ST. Well worth visiting for the sake of 
the peculiarly sweet and melancholy effect of its little grass- 
grown campo, opening to the lagoon and the Alps. The 
sculpture over the door, "St. Peter walking on the Water," 
is a quaint piece of Eenaissance work. Note the distant 
rocky landscape, and the oar of the existing gondola floating 
by St. Andrew's boat. The church is of the later Gothic 
period, much defaced, but still picturesque. The lateral win- 
dows are bluntly trefoiled, and good of their time. 
ANGELI, CHURCH DELGLI, at Murano. The sculpture of the 
" Annunciation" over the entrance-gate is graceful. In ex- 
ploring Murano, it is worth while to row up the great canal 
thus far for the sake of the opening to the lagoon. 
, CHURCH OF ST. Of no importance. 


APOLLINARE, CHURCH OF ST. Of no importance. 

APOSTOLI, CHURCH OF THE. The exterior is nothing. There 
is said to be a picture by Veronese in the interior, "The 
Fall of the Manna." I have not seen it ; but, if it be 
of importance, the traveller should compare it carefully with 
Tintoret's, in the Scuola di San Rocco, and San Giorgio Mag- 

APOSTOLI, PALACE AT, II. 253, on the Grand Canal, near the 
Rialto, opposite the fruit-market. A most important transi- 
tional palace. Its sculpture in the first story is peculiarly rich 
and curious ; I think Venetian, in imitation of Byzantine. 
The sea story and first floor are of the first half of the thir- 
teenth century, the rest modern. Observe that only one wing 
of the sea story is left, the other half having been modern- 
ized. The traveller should land to look at the capital drawn 
in Plate II. of Vol. III. fig. 7. 

ARSENAL. Its gateway is a curiously picturesque example of 
Renaissance workmanship, admirably sharp and expressive in 
its ornamental sculpture ; it is in many parts like some of 
the best Byzantine work. The Greek lions in front of it 
appear to me to deserve more 'praise than they have received ; 
though they are awkwardly balanced between conventional and 
imitative representation, having neither the severity proper to 
the one, nor the~,veracity necessary for the other. 


BADOER, PALAZZO, in the Campo San Giovanni in Bragola. A 
magnificent example of the fourteenth century Gothic, circa 
1310-1320, anterior to the Ducal Palace, and showing beautiful 
ranges of the fifth order window, with fragments of the origi- 
nal balconies, and the usual lateral window larger than any of 
the rest. In the centre of its arcade on the first floor is the 
inlaid ornament drawn in Plate VIII. Vol. I. The fresco 
painting on the walls is of later date ; and I believe the heads 
which form the finials have been inserted afterwards also, the 
original windows having been pure fifth order. 

The building is now a ruin, inhabited by the lowest orders ; 
the first floor, when I was last in Venice, by a laundress. 

BAFFO, PALAZZO, in the Campo St. Maurizio. The commonest 


late Renaissance. A few olive leaves and vestiges of two 
figures still remain upon it, of the frescoes by Paul Veronese, 
with which it was once adorned. 

BALBI, PALAZZO, in Volta di Canal. Of no importance. 

BARBARIGO, PALAZZO, on the Grand Canal, next the Casa Pisani. 
Late Renaissance ; noticeable only as a house in which some of 
tne best pictures of Titian were allowed to be ruined by damp, 
and out of which they were then sold to the Emperor of Russia. 

BARBARO, PALAZZO, on the Grand Canal, next the Palazzo 
Cavalli. These two buildings form the principal objects in 
the foreground of the view which almost every artist seizes 
on his first traverse of the Grand Canal, the Church of the 
Salute forming a most graceful distance. Neither is, how- 
ever, of much value, except in general effect ; but the Barbaro 
is the best, and the pointed arcade in its side wall, seen from 
the narrow canal between it and the Cavalli, is good Gothic, 
of the earliest fourteenth century type. 

BARNABA, CHURCH OF ST. Of no importance. 

BARTOLOMEO, CHURCH OF ST. I did not go to look at the 
works of Sebastian del Piombo which it contains, fully credit- 
ing M. Lazari's statement, that they hare been " Barbaramente 
sfigurati da mani imperite, che pretendevano ristaurarli." Oth- 
erwise the church is of no importance. 

BASSO, CHURCH OF ST. Of no importance. 

BATTAGIA, PALAZZO, on the Grand Canal. Of no importance. 


BEMBO, PALAZZO, on the Grand Canal, next the Casa Manin. A 
noble Gothic pile, circa 1350-1380, which, before it was painted 
by the modern Venetians with the two most valuable colors of 
Tintoret, Bianco e Nero, by being whitewashed above, and 
turned into a coal warehouse below, must have been among the 
most noble in effect on the whole Grand Canal. It still forms 
a beautiful group with the Rialto, some large shipping being 
generally anchored at its quay. Its sea story and entresol are 
of earlier date, I believe, than the rest; the doors of the former 
are Byzantine (see above, Final Appendix, under head 
"Jambs") ; and above the entresol is a beautiful Byzantine 
cornice, built into the wall, and harmonizing well with the 
Gothic work. 


BEMBO, PALAZZO, in the Calle Magno, at the Campo de' due Pozzi, 
close to the Arsenal. Noticed by Lazari and Selvatico as hav- 
ing a very interesting staircase. It is early Gothic, circa 1330, 
but not a whit more interesting than many others of similar 
date and design. See " Contarini Porta de Ferro," "Moro- 
sini," "Sanudo,"and "Minelli." 

JBENEDETTO, CAMPO OF ST. Do not fail to see the superb, 
though partially ruinous, Gothic palace fronting this little 
square. It is very late Gothic, just passing into Kenaissance; 
unique in Venice, in masculine character, united with the deli- 
cacy of the incipient style. Observe especially the brackets 
of the balconies, the flower-work on the cornices, and the ara- 
besques on the angles of the balconies themselves. 

BENEDETTO, CHUKCH OF ST. Of no importance. 

BEENARDO, PALAZZO, on the Grand Canal. A very noble pile of 
early fifteenth century Gothic, founded on the Ducal Palace. 
The traceries in its lateral windows are both rich and unusual. 

BERNARDO, PALAZZO, at St. Polo. A glorious palace, on a nar- 
row canal, in a part of Venice now inhabited by the lower 
orders only. It is rather late Central Gothic, circa 1380-1400, 
but of the finest kind, and superb in its effect of color when 
seen from the side. A capital in the interior court is much 
praised by Selvatico and Lazari, because its " foglie d' acanto" 
(anything by the by, but acanthus), " quasi agitate de vento si 
attorcigliano d' intorno alia campana, concetto non indegno 
della bett' epoca greca!" Does this mean " epoca Bisantina?" 
The capital is simply a translation into Gothic sculpture of the 
Byzantine ones of St. Mark's and the Fondaco de' Turclii 
(see Plate VIII. Vol. I. fig. 14), and is far inferior to either. 
But, taken as a whole, I think that, after the Ducal Palace, this 
is the noblest in effect of all in Venice. 

BRENTA, Banks of the, I. 354. Villas on the, I. 354. 


BYZANTINE PALACES generally, II. 118. 


CAMERLENGHI, PALACE OF THE, beside the Rialto. A graceful 
work of the early Renaissance (1525) passing into Roman 
Renaissance. Its details are inferior to most of the work of 


the school. The "Camerlenghi," properly " Camerlenghi di 
Comune," were the three officers or ministers who had care of 
the administration of public expenses. 


CANCIANO, CHUKCH OF ST. Of no importance. 

CAPPELLO, PALAZZO, at St. Aponal. Of no interest. Some say 
that Bianca Cappello fled from it; but the tradition seems to 
fluctuate between the various houses belonging to her family. 

CARITA, CHURCH OF THE. Once an interesting Gothic church of 
the fourteenth century, lately defaced, and applied to some of 
the usual inportant purposes of the modern Italians. The 
effect of its ancient fagade may partly be guessed at from the 
pictures of Canaletto, but only guessed at; Canaletto being less 
to be trusted for renderings of details, than the rudest and 
most ignorant painter of the thirteenth century. 

CABMIXI, CHURCH OF THE. A most interesting church of late 
thirteenth century work, but much altered and defaced. Its 
nave, in which the early shafts and capitals of the pure trun- 
cate form are unaltered, is very fine in effect; its lateral porch 
is quaint and beautiful, decorated with Byzantine circular 
sculptures (of which the central one is given in Vol. II. Plate 
XL fig. 5), and supported on two 'shafts whose capitals are 
the most archaic examples of the pure Rose form that I know 
in Venice. 

There is a glorious Tintoret over the first altar on the right 
in entering; the "Circumcision of Christ." I do not know 
an aged head either more beautiful or more picturesque than 
that of the high priest. The cloister is full of notable tombs, 
nearly all dated; one, of the fifteenth century, to the left on 
entering, is interesting from the color still left on the leaves 
and flowers of its sculptured roses. 

CASSANO, CHURCH OF ST. This church must on no account be 
missed, as it contains three Tintorets, of which one, the 
"Crucifixion," is among the finest in Europe. There is nothing 
worth notice in the building itself, except the jamb of an 
ancient door (left in the Renaissance buildings, facing the 
canal), which has been given among the examples of Byzantine 
jambs; and the traveller may, therefore, devote his entire 
attention to the three pictures in the chancel. 


1. The Crucifixion. (On the left of the high altar.) It is 
refreshing to find a picture taken care of, and in a bright 
though not a good light, so that such parts of it as are seen at 
all are seen well. It is also in a better state than most pictures 
in galleries, and most remarkable for its new and strange 
treatment of the subject. It seems to have been painted more 
for the artist's own delight, than with any labored attempt at 
composition; the horizon is so low that the spectator must 
fancy himself lying at full length on the grass, or rather among 
the brambles and luxuriant weeds, of which the foreground is 
entirely composed. Among these, the seamless robe of Christ 
has fallen at the foot of the cross; the rambling briars and wild 
grasses thrown here and there over its folds of rich, but pale, 
crimson. Behind them, and seen through them, the heads of 
a troop of Roman soldiers are raised against the sky; and, 
above them, their spears and halberds form a thin forest 
against the horizontal clouds. The three crosses are put on 
the extreme right of the picture, and its centre is occupied 
by the executioners, one of whom, standing 011 a ladder, re- 
ceives from the other at once the sponge and the tablet with 
the letters INRL The Madonna and St. John are on the ex- 
treme left, superbly painted, like all the rest, but quite sub- 
ordinate. In fact, the whole mind of the painter seems to 
have been set upon making the principals accessary, and the 
accessaries principal. We look first at the grass, and then at 
the scarlet robe; and then at the clump of distant spears, and 
then at the sky, and last of all at the cross. As a piece of 
color, the picture is notable for its extreme modesty. There 
is not a single very full or bright tint in any part, and yet the 
color is delighted in throughout; not the slightest touch os it 
but is delicious. It is worth notice also, and especially, because 
this picture being in a fresh state we are sure of one fact, that, 
like nearly all other great colorists, Tintoret was afraid of 
light greens in his vegetation. He often uses dark blue greens 
in his shadowed trees, but here where the grass is in full light, 
it is all painted with various hues of sober brown, more espe- 
cially where it crosses the crimson robe. The handling of the 
whole is in his noblest manner; and I consider the picture- 
generally quite beyond all price. It was cleaned, I believe. 


some years ago, but not injured, or at least as little injured as 
it is possible for a picture to be which has undergone any 
cleaning process whatsoever. 

2. The Resurrection. (Over the high altar.) The lower 
part of this picture is entirely concealed by a miniature temple, 
about five feet high, on the top of the altar; certainly an in- 
sult little expected by Tintoret, as, by getting on steps, and 
looking over the said temple, one may see that the lower figures 
of the picture are the most labored. It is strange that the 
painter never seemed able to conceive this subject with any 
power, and in the present work he is marvellously hampered 
by various types and conventionalities. It is not a painting of 
the Kesurrection, but of Koman Catholic saints, thinking 
about the Resurrection. On one side of the tomb is a bishop 
in full robes, on the other a female saint, I know not who; 
beneath it, an angel playing on an organ, and a cherub blowing 
it; and other cherubs flying about the sky, with flowers; the 
whole conception being a mass of Renaissance absurdities. It 
is, moreover, heavily painted, over-done, and over-finished; 
and the forms of the cherubs utterly heavy and vulgar. I 
cannot help fancying the picture has been restored in some 
way or another, but there is still great power in parts of it. 
If it be a really untouched Tintoret, it is a highly curious ex- 
ample of failure from over-labor on a subject into which his 
mind was not thrown: the color is hot and harsh, and felt to 
be so more painfully, from its opposition to the grand coolness 
and chastity of the "Crucifixion." The face of the angel 
playing the organ is highly elaborated; so, also, the flying 

3. The Descent into Hades. (On the right-hand side of the 
high altar. ) Much injured and little to be regretted. I never 
was more puzzled by any picture, the painting being through- 
out careless, and in some places utterly bad, and yet not like 
modern work; the principal figure, however, of Eve, has either 
been redone, or is scholar's work altogether, as, I suspect, most 
of the rest of the picture. It looks as if Tintoret had sketched 
it when he was ill, left it to a bad scholar to work on with, and 
then finished it in a hurry; but he has assuredly had something 
to do with it; it is not likely that anybody else would have re- 


fused all aid from the usual spectral company with which com- 
mon painters fill the scene. Bronzino, for instance, covers his 
canvas with every form of monster that his sluggish imagination 
could coin. Tintoret admits only a somewhat haggard Adam, 
a graceful Ere, two or three Venetians in court dress, seen 
amongst the smoke, and a Satan represented as a handsome 
youth, recognizable only by the claws on his feet. The picture 
is dark and spoiled, but I am pretty sure there are no demons 
or spectres in it. This is quite in accordance with the master's 
caprice, but it considerably diminishes the interest of a work 
in other ways unsatisfactory. There may once have been 
something impressive in the shooting in of the rays at the top 
of the cavern, as well as in the strange grass that grows in the 
bottom, whose infernal character is indicated by its all being^ 
knotted together; but so little of these parts can be seen, that 
it is not worth spending time on a work certainly unworthy of 
the master, and in great part probably never seen by him. 

CATTARINA, CHUKCH OF ST., said to contain a chef-d'ceuvre of 
Paul Veronese, the "Marriage of St. Catherine." I have not 
seen it. 

CAVALLI, PALAZZO, opposite the Academy of Arts. An impos- 
ing pile, on the Grand Canal, of Renaissance Gothic, but of 
little merit in the details; and the effect of its traceries has 
been of late destroyed by the fittings of modern external blinds. 
Its balconies are good, of the later Gothic type. See " BAR- 

CAVALLI, PALAZZO, next the Casa Grimani (or Post-Office), but 
on the other side of the narrow canal. Good Gothic, founded 
on the Dncal Palace, circa 1380. The capitals of the first 
story are remarkably rich in the deep fillets at the necks. The 
crests, heads of sea-horses, inserted between the windows, ap- 
pear to be later, but are very fine of their kind. 

CICOGNA, PALAZZO, at San Sebastiano, II. 265. 

CLEMENTE, CHURCH OF ST. On an island to the south of 
Venice, from which the view of the city is peculiarly beautiful. 
See "SCALZI." 

CONTARINI PORTA Di FERRO, PALAZZO, near the Church of St. 
John and Paul, so called from the beautiful ironwork on a 
door, which was some time ago taken down by the? proprietor 


and sold. Mr. Eawdon Brown rescued some of the ornaments 
from the hands of the blacksmith, who had bought them for 
old iron. The head of the door is a very interesting stone 
arch of the early thirteenth century, already drawn in my 
folio work. In the interior court is a beautiful remnant of 
staircase, with a piece of balcony at the top, circa 1350, and 
one of the most richly and carefully wrought in Venice. The 
palace, judging by these remnants (all that are now left of it, 
except a single traceried window of the same date at the turn 
of the stair), must once have been among the most magnificent 
in Venice. 

III. 17. 

Gothic building, founded on the Ducal Palace. Two Renais- 
sance statues in niches at the sides give it its name. 

CONTARINI FASAN, PALAZZO, on the Grand Canal, II. 244. 
The richest work of the fifteenth century domestic Gothic in 
Venice, but notable more for richness than excellence of design. 
In one respect, however, it deserves to be regarded with atten- 
tion, as showing how much beauty and dignity may be 
bestowed on a very small and unimportant dwelling-house by 
Gothic sculpture. Foolish criticisms upon it have appeared 
in English accounts of foreign buildings, objecting to it on the 
ground of its being "ill-proportioned;" the simple fact being, 
that there was no room in this part of the canal for a wider 
house, and that its builder made its rooms as comfortable as 
he could, and its windows and balconies of a convenient size 
for those who were to see through them, and stand on them, 
and left the "proportions" outside to take care of themselves; 
which, indeed, they have very sufficiently done; for though 
the house thus honestly confesses its diminutiveness, it is 
nevertheless one of the principal ornaments of the very noblest 
reach of the Grand Canal, and would be nearly as great a loss, 
if it were destroyed, as the Church of La Salute itself. 

CONTARINI, PALAZZO, at St. Luca. Of no importance. 

One of the worst and coldest buildings of the central Renais- 
sance. It is on a grand scale, and is a conspicuous object, 


rising over the roofs of the neighboring houses in the various 

aspects of the entrance of the Grand Canal, and in the general 

view of Venice from San Clemente. 
CORNER DELLA REGINA, PALAZZO. A late Renaissance building 

of no merit or interest. 

CORNER MOCENIGO, PALAZZO, at St. Polo. Of no interest. 
CORNER SPINELLI, PALAZZO, on the Grand Canal. A graceful 

and interesting example of the early Renaissance, remarkable 

for its pretty circular balconies. 
CORNER, RACCOLTA. I must refer the reader to M. Lazari's 

Guide for an account of this collection, which, however, ought 

only to be visited if the traveller is not pressed for time. 


DANDOLO, PALAZZO, on the Grand Canal. Between the Casa 
Loredan and Casa Bembo is a range of modern buildings, 
some of which occupy, I believe, the site of the palace once 
inhabited by the Doge Henry Dandolo. Fragments of early 
architecture of the Byzantine school may still be traced in 
many places among their foundations, and two doors in the 
foundation of the Casa Bembo itself belong to the same group. 
There is only one existing palace, however, of any value, on 
this spot, a very small but rich Gothic one of about 1300, with 
two groups of fourth order windows in its second and third 
stories, and some Byzantine circular mouldings built into it 
above. This is still reported to have belonged to the family 
of Dandolo, and ought to be carefully preserved, as it is one 
of the most interesting and ancient Gothic palaces which yet 


DA PONTE, PALAZZO. Of no interest. 

DARIO, PALAZZO, I. 370; III. 211. 

DOGANA DI MARE, at the separation of the Grand Canal from 
the Giudecca. A barbarous building of the time of the Gro- 
tesque Renaissance (1676), rendered interesting only by its 
position. The statue of Fortune, forming the weathercock, 
standing on the world, is alike characteristic of the conceits of 
the time, and of the hopes and principles of the last davs of 


DC-NATO, CHURCH OF ST., at Murano, II. 31. 

DONA', PALAZZO, on the Grand Canal. I believe the palace 
described under this name as of the twelfth century, by M. 
Lazari, is that which I have called the Braided House, II. 132, 

D' ORO CASA. A noble pile of very quaint Gothic, once superb 
in general effect, but now destroyed by restorations. I saw the 
beautiful slabs of red marble, which formed the bases of its 
balconies, and were carved into noble spiral mouldings of 
strange sections, half a foot deep, dashed to pieces when I was 
last in Venice; its glorious interior staircase, by far the most 
interesting Gothic monument of the kind in Venice, had been 
carried away, piece by piece, and sold for waste marble, two 
years before. Of what remains, the most beautiful portions 
are, or were, when I last saw them, the capitals of the windows 
in the upper story, most glorious sculpture of the fourteenth 
century. The fantastic window traceries are, I think, later; 
hut the rest of the architecture of this palace is anomalous, and 
I cannot venture to give any decided opinion respecting it. 
Parts of its mouldings are quite Byzantine in character, but 
look somewhat like imitations. 

DUCAL PALACE, I. 29; history of, II. 282, etc.; III. 199; plan 
and section of, II. 282, 283; description of, II. 304, etc.; series 
of its capitals, II. 332, etc.; spandrils of, I. 299, 415; shafts 
of, I. 413; traceries of, derived from those of the Frari, II. 
234; angles of, II. 239; main balcony of, II. 245; base of, III. 
212; Rio Facade of, III. 25; paintings in, II. 372. The mul- 
titude of works by various masters, which cover the walls of 
this palace is so great, that the traveller is in general merely 
wearied and confused by them. He had better refuse all at- 
tention except to the following works: 

1. Paradise, by Tjafaffiej; at the extremity of the Great. 
Council chamber. I found it impossible to count the number 
of figures in 'this picture, of which the grouping is so intricate, 
that at the upper part it is not easy to distinguish one figure 
from another; but I counted 150 important figures in one half 
of it alone; so that, as there are nearly as many in subordinate 
position, the total number cannot be under 500. I believe this 
is on the whole, Tintoret's chef-d'mivre; though it is so vast 


that no one takes the trouble to read it, and therefore less 
wonderful pictures are preferred to it. I have not myself been 
able to study except a few fragments of it, all executed in his 
finest manner; but it may assist a hurried observer to point 
out to him that the whole composition is divided into concen- 
tric zones, represented one above another like the stories of a 
cupola, round the figures of Christ and the Madonna, at thej 
central and highest point: both these figures are exceedingly 
dignified and beautiful. Between each zone or belt of the 
nearer figures, the white distances of heaven are seen filled 
with floating spirits. The picture is, on the whole, wonder- 
fully preserved, and the most precious thing that Venice pos- 
sesses. She will not possess it long; for the Venetian acade- 
micians, finding it exceedingly unlike their own works, declare- 
it to want harmony, and are going to retouch it to their own 
ideas of perfection. 

2. Sieyejof Zara ; the first picture on the right on entering 
the Sala del Scrutinio. It is a mere battle piece, in which the 
figures, like the arrows, are put in by the score. There are 
high merits in the thing, and so much invention that it is^ 
possible Tintoret may have made the sketch for it ; but, if ex- ] 
ecuted by him at all, he has done it merely in the temper in 
which a sign-painter meets the wishes of an ambitious land- 
lord. He seems to have been ordered to represent all the 
events of the battle at once ; and to have felt that, provided 
he gave men, arrows, and ships enough, his employers would 
be perfectly satisfied. The picture is a vast one, some thirty 
feet by fifteen. 

Various other pictures will be pointed out by the custode,. 
in these two rooms, as worthy of attention, but they are only 
historically, not artistically, interesting. The works of Paul 
Veronese on the ceiling have been repainted ; and the rest of 
the pictures on the walls are by second-rate men. The travel- 
ler must, once for all, be warned against mistaking the works 
of Domenico Robusti (Domenico Tintoretto), a very miserable; 
painter, for those of his illustrious father, Jacopo. 

3. The Doge Grimani kneeling before Faith, by Titian ; in 
the Salu delle quattro Porte. To be observed with care, as- 
one of the most striking examples of Titian's want of feeling 


.and coarseness of conception. (See above, Vol. I. p. 12.) As 
a work of mere art, it is, however, of great value. The trav- 
eller who has been accustomed to deride Turner's indistinct- 
ness of touch, ought to examine carefully the mode of painting 
the Venice in the distance at the bottom of this picture. 

4. Frescoes on the Roof of the Sala^ delle quattro Porte, by 
'Tintoret. Once magnificent beyond description, now mere 
wrecks (the plaster crumbling away in large flakes), but yet 
'deserving of the most earnest study. 

5. Christ taken down from the Cross, by Tintoret ; at the 
upper end of the Sala del Pregadi. One of the most interest- 
ing mythic pictures of Venice, two doges being represented be- 
side the body of Christ, and a most noble painting ; executed, 
however, for distant effect, and seen best from the end of the 

6. Venice, Queen of the Sea, by Tintoret. Central compart- 1 
ment of the ceiling, in the Sala dei Pregadi. Notable for the .1 
sweep of its vast green surges, and for the daring character of 
its entire conception, though it is wild and careless, and in 
many respects unworthy of the master. Note the way in which 
he has used the fantastic forms of the sea weeds, with respect 
to what was above stated (III. 158), as to his love of the gro- 

7. The Doge Loredano in Prayer to the Virgin, by Tintoret; ] 
in the same room. Sickly and pale in color, yet a grand work; \ 
to be studied, however, more for the sake of seeing what a 
great man does " to order," when he is wearied of what is re- 
quired from him, than for its own merit. 

8. St. George and the Princess. There are, besides the 
"Paradise," only six pictures in the Ducal Palace, as far as I 
know, which Tintoret painted carefully, and those are all ex- 
ceedingly fine: the most finished of these are in the Anti-Col- 
legio; but those that are most majestic and characteristic of 
the master are two oblong ones, made to fill the panels of the 
walls in the Anti-Chiesetta; these two, each, I suppose, about 
eight feet by six, are in his most quiet and noble manner. 
There is excessively little color in them, their prevalent tone 
being a greyish brown opposed with grey, black, and a very warm 
russet. They are thinly painted, perfect in tone, and quite 


untouched. The first of them is " St. George and the Dragon, " 
the subject being treated in a new and curious way. The prin- 
cipal figure is the princess, who sits astride on the dragon's 
neck, holding him by a bridle of silken riband; St. George 
stands above and behind her, holding his hands over her head 
as if to bless her, or to keep the dragon quiet by heavenly 
power; and a monk stands by on the right, looking gravely 
on. There is no expression or life in the dragon, though the 
white flashes in its eye are very ghastly: but the whole thing 
is entirely typical ; and the princess is not so much represented 
riding on the dragon, as supposed to be placed by St. George 
in an attitude of perfect victory over her chief enemy. She 
has a full rich dress of dull red, but her figure is- somewhat 
ungraceful. St. George is in grey armor and grey drapery, 
and has a beautiful face; his figure entirely dark against the 
distant sky. There is a study for this picture in the Man- 
frini Palace. 

9. St. Andrew and St. Jerome. This, the companion pic- 
ture, has even less color than its opposite. It is nearly all 
brown and grey; the fig-leaves and olive-leaves brown, the 
faces brown, the dresses brown, and St. Andrew holding a 
great brown cross. There is nothing that can be called color, ] 
except the grey of the sky, which approaches in some places a 
little to blue, and a single piece of dirty brick-red in St. 
Jerome's dress ; and yet Tintoret's greatness hardly ever shows 
more than in the management of such sober tints. I would 
rather have these two small brown pictures, and two others in 
the Academy perfectly brown also in their general tone the 
"Cain and Abel" and the "Adam and Eve/' than all the 
other small pictures in Venice put together, which he painted 
in bright colors, for altar pieces; but I never saw two pictures 
which so nearly approached grisailles as these, and yet were 
delicious pieces of color. I do not know if I am right in call- 
ing one of the saints St. Andrew. He stands holding a great 
upright wooden cross against the sky. St. Jerome reclines at 
his feet, against a rock, over which some glorious fig leaves and 
olive branches are shooting ; every line of them studied with 
the most exquisite care, and yet cast with perfect freedom. 

10. Bacchus and Ariadne. The most beautiful of the four 


careful pictures by Tintoret, which occupy the angles of the 
Anti-Collegio. Once one of the noblest pictures in the world, 
traFnow miserably faded, the sun being allowed to fall on it 
all day long. The design of the forms of the leafage round 
the head of the Bacchus, and the floating grace of the female 
figure above, will, however, always give interest to this picture, 
unless it be repainted. 

The other three Tintorets in this room are careful and fine, 
but far inferior to the "Bacchus ;" and the "Vulcan and the 
Cyclops" is a singularly meagre and vulgar study of common 

11. Europa, by Paul Veronese : in the same room. One ofV 
the very few pictures which both possess and deserve a high 

12. Venice enthroned, by Paul Veronese ; on the roof of the -?f 
same room. One of the grandest pieces of frank color in the 
Ducal Palace. 

13. Venice, and the Doge Sebastian Venier ; at the upper - 
end of the Sala del Collegio. An unrivalled Paul Veronese, 
far finer even than the " Europa." 

14. Marriage of St. Catherine, by Tintoret ; in the same \ 
room. An inferior picture, but the figure of St. Catherine is I 
quite exquisite. Note how her veil falls over her form, show- 
ing the sky through it, as an alpine cascade falls over a marble 

There are three other Tintorets on the walls of this room, } 
but all inferior, though full of power. Note especially the i 
painting of the lion's wings, and of the colored carpet, in the 
one nearest the throne, the Doge Alvise Mocenigo adoring the 

The roof is entirely by Paul Veronese, and the traveller who 
really loves painting, ought to get leave to come to this room 
whenever he chooses ; and should pass the sunny summer 
mornings there again and again, wandering now and then into 
the Anti-Collegio and Sala dei Pregadi, and coming back to 
rest under the wings of the couched lion at the feet of the 
"Mocenigo." He will no otherwise enter so deeply into the 
heart of Venice. 



EMO, PALAZZO, on the Grand Canal. Of no interest. 

ERIZZO, PALAZZO, near the Arsenal, II. 262. 

ERIZZO, PALAZZO, on the Grand Canal, nearly opposite the Fon- 
daco de' Turchi. A Gothic palace, with a single range of 
windows founded on the Ducal traceries, and bold capitals. 
It has been above referred to in the notice of tracery bars. 

EUFEMIA, CHURCH OF ST. A small and defaced, but very curious, 
early Gothic church on the Giudecca. Not worth visiting, 
unless the traveller is seriously interested in architecture. 

EUROPA, ALBERGO, ALL'. Once a Giustiniani Palace. Good 
Gothic, circa 1400, but much altered. 


FAG ANON, PALAZZO (ALL A FAVA). A fair example of the fif- 
teenth century Gothic, founded on Ducal Palace. 

FALIER, PALAZZO, at the Apostoli. Above, II. 253. 

FANTINO, CHURCH OF ST. Said to contain a John Bellini, 
otherwise of no importance. 

FARSETTI, PALAZZO, on the Grand Canal, II. 124, 393. 

FAVA, CHURCH OF ST. Of no importance. 

FELICE, CHURCH OF ST. Said to contain a Tintoret, which, if 
untouched, I should conjecture, from Lazari's statement of its 
subject, St. Demetrius armed, with one of the Ghisi family in 
prayer, must be very fine. Otherwise the church is of no im- 

FERRO, PALAZZO, on the Grand Canal. Fifteenth century 
Gothic, very hard and bad. 

FLANGINI, PALAZZO, on the Grand Canal. Of no importance. 

FON'DACO DE' TURCHI, I. 328; II. 120, 121, 236. The opposite 
plate, representing three of its capitals, has been several times 
referred to. 

FONDACO DE' TEDESCHI. A huge and ugly building near the 
Rialto, rendered, however, peculiarly interesting by remnants 
of the frescoes by Giorgione with which it was once covered. 
See Vol. II. 80, and III. 23. 


Capitals of Fondaco de' Turchi. 


FOSCA, CHURCH OF ST. Notable for its exceedingly picturesque 
campanile, of late Gothic, but uninjured by restorations, and 
peculiarly Venetian in being crowned by the cupola instead of 
the pyramid, which would have been employed at the same 
period in any other Italian city. 

FOSCARI, PALAZZO, on the Grand Canal. The noblest example 
in Venice of the fifteenth century Gothic, founded on the 
Ducal Palace, but lately restored and spoiled, all but the stone- 
work of the main windows. The restoration was necessary, 
however: for, when I was in Venice in 1845, this palace was a 
foul ruin; its great hall a mass of mud, used as a back recep- 
tacle of a stone-mason's yard; and its rooms whitewashed, and 
scribbled over with indecent caricatures. It has since been 
partially strengthened and put in order; but as the Venetian 
municipality have now given it to the Austrians to be used as 
barracks, it will probably soon be reduced to its former condi- 
tion. The lower palaces at the side of this building are said 
by some to have belonged to the younger Foscari. See 

but must be visited in order to see the John Bellini in the 
Cappella Santa. The late sculpture, in the Cappella Giustin- 
iani, appears from Lazari's statement to be deserving of care- 
ful study. This church is said also to contain two pictures by 
Paul Veronese. 

FRARI, CHURCH OF THE. Founded in 1250, and continued at 
various subsequent periods. The apse and adjoining chapels 
are the earliest portions, and their traceries have been above 
noticed (II. 234) as the origin of those of the Ducal Palace. 
The best view of the apse, which is a very noble example of 
Italian Gothic, is from the door of the Scuola di San Rocco. 
The doors of the church are all later than any other portion of 
it, very elaborate Renaissance Gothic. The interior is good 
Gothic, but not interesting, except in its monuments. Of 
these, the following are noticed in the text of this volume: 

That of Duccio degli Alberti, at pages 74, 80; of the 
-unknown Knight, opposite that of Duccio, III. 74; of Fran- 
cesco Foscari, III. 84; of Giovanni Pesaro, 91; of Jacopo 
Pesaro, 92. 


Besides these tombs, the traveller ought to notice carefully 
that of Pietro Bernardo, a first-rate example of Ren-iissance 
work; nothing can be more detestable or mindless in general 
design, or more beautiful in execution. Examine especially 
the griffins, fixed in admiration of bouquets, at the bottom. 
The fruit and flowers which arrest the attention of the griffins 
may well arrest the traveller's also; nothing can be finer of 
their kind. The tomb of Canova, by Canova, cannot be 
missed; consummate in science, intolerable in affectation, ridi- 
culous in conception, null and void to the uttermost in inven- 
tion and feeling. The equestrian statue of Paolo Savelli is 
spirited; the monument of the Beato Pacifico, a curious ex- 
ample of Renaissance Gothic with wild crockets (all in terra 
cotta). There are several good Vivarini's in the church, but 
its chief pictorial treasure is the John Bellini in the sacristy, 
the most finished and delicate example of the master in Venice, 


GEREMIA, CHURCH OF ST. Of no importance. 

GESUATI, CHURCH OF THE. Of no importance. 

GIACOMO DE LORIO, CHURCH OF ST., a most interesting church, 
of the early thirteenth century, but grievously restored. Its 
capitals have been already noticed as characteristic of the 
earliest Gothic; and it is said to contain four works of Paul 
Veronese, but I have not examined them. The pulpit is ad- 
mired by the Italians, but is utterly worthless. The verd- 
antique pillar, in the south transept, is a very noble example 
of the " Jewel Shaft." See the note at p. 83, Vol. II. 

GIACOMO DI RIALTO, CHURCH OF ST. A picturesque little 
church, on the Piazza di Rialto. It has been grievously re- 
stored, but the pillars and capitals of its nave are certainly of 
the eleventh century; those of its portico are of good central 
Gothic; and it will surely not be left un visited, on this ground, 
if on no other, that it stands on the site, and still retains the 
name, of the first church ever built on that Rialto which 
formed the nucleus of future Venice, and became afterwards 
the mart of her merchants. 

GIOBBE, CHURCH OF ST., near the Cana Reggio. Its principal 
entrance is a very fine example of early Renaissance sculp- 


ture. Note in it, especially, its beautiful use of the flower of 
the convolvulus. There are said to be still more beautiful 
examples of the same period, in the interior. The cloister, 
though much defaced, is of the Gothic period, and worth a 

contains no valuable objects of art, but its service is worth 
attending by those who have never seen the Greek ritual. 

very precious series of paintings by Victor Carpaccio. Other- 
wise of no interest. 

GIORGIO IK ALIGA (St. George in the seaweed), CHURCH OF ST. 
Unimportant in itself, but the most beautiful view of Venice 
at sunset is from a point at about two thirds of the distance 
from the city to the island. 

GIORGIO MAGGIORE, CHURCH OF ST. A building which owes 
its interesting effect chiefly to its isolated position, being seen 
over a great space of lagoon. The traveller should especially 
notice in its facade the manner in which the central Renais- 
sance architects (of whose style this church is a renowned 
example) endeavored to fit the laws they had established to 
the requirements of their age. Churches were required with 
aisles and clerestories, that is to say, with a high central nave 
and lower wings; and the question was, how to face this form 
with pillars of one proportion. The noble Romanesque archi- 
tects built story above story, as at Pisa and Lucca; but the 
base Palladian architects dared not do this. They must needs 
retain some image of the Greek temple; but the Greek temple 
was all of one height, a low.gable roof being borne on ranges 
of equal pillars. So the Palladian builders raised first a Greek 
temple with pilasters for shafts; and, through the middle of 
Us roof, or horizontal learn, that is to say, of the cornice 
which externally represented this beam, they lifted another 
temple on pedestals, adding these barbarous appendages to the 
shafts, which otherwise would not have been high enough; 
fragments of the divided cornice or tie-beam being left be- 
tween the shafts, and the great door of the church thrust in 
between the pedestals. It is impossible to conceive a design 
more gross, more barbarous, more childish in conception, more 


servile in plagiarism, more insipid in result, more contemptible 
under every point of rational regard. 

Observe, also, that when Palladio had got his pediment at 
the top of the church, he did not know what to do with it; 
he had no idea of decorating it except by a round hole in the 
middle. (The traveller should compare, both in construction 
and decoration, the Church of the Eedentore with this of San 
Giorgio. ) Now, a dark penetration is often a most precious 
assistance to a building dependent upon color for its effect; 
for a cavity is the only means in the architect's power of ob- 
taining certain and vigorous shadow; and for this purpose, a 
circular penetration, surrounded by a deep russet marble 
moulding, is beautifully used in the centre of the white field 
on the side of the portico of St. Mark's. But Palladio had 
given up color, and pierced his pediment with a circular cavity, 
merely because he had not wit enough to fill it with sculpture. 
The interior of the church is like a large assembly room, and 
would have been undeserving of a moment's attention, but 
that it contains some most precious pictures, namely: 

1. Gathering the Manna. (On the left hand of the high/ 
altar.) One of Tintoret's most remarkable landscapes. A 
brook flowing through a mountainous country, studded with 
thickets and palm trees; the congregation have been long in 
the Wilderness, and are employed in various manufactures 
much more than in gathering the manna. One group is 
forging, another grinding manna in a mill, another making 
shoes, one woman making a piece of dress, some washing; tlie^ 
main purpose of Tintoret being evidently to indicate the con- / 
tinuity of the supply of heavenly food. Another painter 
would have made the congregation hurrying to gather it, and 
wondering at it; Tintoret at once makes us remember that 
they have been fed with it "by the space of forty years." It"' 
is a large picture, full of interest and power, but scattered in 
effect, and not striking except from its elaborate landscape. 

2. The Last Supper. (Opposite the former.) These two 
pictures have been painted for their places, the subjects being 
Hlustrative of the sacrifice of the mass. This latter is remark- 
able for its entire homeliness in the general treatment of the 
subject; the entertainment being represented like any large 


supper in a second-rate Italian inn, the figures being all com- 
paratively uninteresting; but we are reminded that the sub^l 
ject is a sacred one, not only by the strong light shining from 
the head of Christ, but because the smoke of the lamp which 
hangs over the table turns, as it rises, into a multitude of 
angels, all painted in grey, the color of the smoke; and so 
writhed and twisted together that the eye hardly at first dis- 
tinguishes them from the vapor out of 'which they are formed, 
ghosts of countenances and filmy wings filling up the intervals 
between the completed heads. The idea is highly charac- 
teristic of the master. The picture has been grievously 
injured, but still shows miracles of -skill in the expres- 
sion of candle-light mixed with twilight; variously reflected 
rays, and half tones of the dimly lighted chamber, mingled 
with the beams of the lantern and those from the head of 
Christ, flashing along the metal and glass upon the table, and 
under it along the floor, and dying away into the recesses of 
the room. 

3. Martyrdom of various Saints. (Altar piece of the third 
altar in the South aisle.) A moderately sized picture, and 
now a very disagreeable one, owing to the violent red into 
which the color that formed the glory of the angel at the top 
is changed. It has been hastily painted, and only shows the 
artist's power in the energy of the figure of an executioner 
drawing a bow, and in the magnificent ease with which the 
other figures are thrown together in all manner of wild groups 
and defiances of probability. Stones and arrows are flying 
about in the air at random. 

4. Coronation of the Virgin. (Fourth altar in the same 
aisle.) Painted more for the sake of the portraits at the 
bottom, than of the Virgin at the top. A good picture, but 
somewhat tame for Tintoret, and much injured. The princi- 
pal figure, in black, is still, however, very fine. 

5. Resurrection of Christ. (At the end of the north aisle, 
in the chapel beside the choir.) Another picture painted 
chiefly for the sake of the included portraits, and remarkably 
cold in general conception; its color has, however, been gay 
and delicate, lilac, yellow, and blue being largely used in it. 
The flag which our Saviour bears in his hand, has been once 


as bright as the sail of a Venetian fishing-boat, but the colors 
are now all chilled, and the picture is rather crude than bril- 
liant; a mere wreck of what it was, and all covered with 
droppings of wax at the bottom. 

6. Martyrdom of St. Stephen. (Altar piece in the north 
transept.) The Saint is in a rich prelate's dress, looking as if 
he had just been saying mass, kneeling in the foreground, and 
perfectly serene. The stones are flying about him like hail, 
and the ground is covered with them as thickly as if it were a 
river bed. But in the midst of them, at the saint's right 
hand, there is a book lying, crushed but open, two or three 
stones which have torn one of its leaves lying upon it. The 
freedom and ease with which the leaf is crumpled is just as 
characteristic of the master as any of the grander features; 
no one but Tintoret could have so crushed a leaf; but the 
idea is still more characteristic of him, for the book is evi- 
dently meant for the Mosaic History which Stephen had just 
been expounding, and its being crushed by the stones shows 
how the blind rage of the Jews was violating their own law in 
the murder of Stephen. In the upper part of the picture are 
three figures, Christ, the Father, and St. Michael. Christ 
of course at the right hand of the Father, as Stephen saw him 
standing; but there is little dignity in this part of the concep- 
tion. In the middle of the picture, which is also the middle 
distance, are three or four men throwing stones, with Tin- 
toret's usual vigor of gesture, and behind them an immense 
and confused crowd; so that, at first, we wonder where St. 
Paul is; but presently we observe that, in the front of this 
crowd, and almost exactly in the centre of the picture, there 
is a figure seated on the ground, very noble and quiet, and with 
some loose garments thrown across its knees. It is dressed 
in vigorous black and red. The figure of the Father in the 
sky above is dressed in black and red also, and these two 
figures are the centres of color to the whole design. It is 
almost impossible to praise too highly the refinement of con- 
ception which withdrew the unconverted St. Paul into the 
distance, so as entirely to separate him from the immediate 
interest of the scene, and yet marked the dignity to which he 
was afterward to be raised, by investing him with the colors 


which occurred nowhere else in the picture except in the 
dress which veils the form of the Godhead. It is also to be 
noted as an interesting example of the value which the painter 
put upon color only; another composer would have thought it 
necessary to exalt the future apostle by some peculiar dignity 
of action or expression. The posture of the figure is indeed 
grand, but inconspicuous: Tintoret does not depend upon it, 
and thinks that the figure is quite ennobled enough by being 
made a key-note of color. 

It is also worth observing how boldly imaginative is the 
treatment which covers the ground with piles of stones, and 
yet leaves the martyr apparently unwounded. Another 
painter would have covered him with blood, and elaborated 
the expression of pain upon his countenance. Tintoret leaves 
us under no doubt as to what manner of death he is dying; he 
makes the air hurtle with the stones, but he does not choose 
to make his picture disgusting, or even painful. The face of 
the martyr is serene, and exulting; and we leave the picture, 
remembering only how "he fell asleep." 

GIOVANELLI, PALAZZO, at the Ponte di Noale. A fine example 
of fifteenth century Gothic, founded on the Ducal Palace. 
GIOVANNI E PAOLO, CHURCH OF ST.* Foundation of, III. 69. 
An impressive church, though none of its Gothic is com- 
parable with that of the North, or with that of Verona. The 
Western door is interesting as one of the last conditions of 
Gothic design passing into Renaissance, very rich and beauti- 
ful of its kind, especially the wreath of fruit and flowers 
which forms its principal molding. The statue of Bartolomeo 
Oolleone, in the little square beside the church, is certainly 
one of the noblest works in Italy. I have never seen anything 
approaching it in animation, in vigor of portraiture, or noble- 
ness of line. The reader will need Lazari's Guide in making 
the circuit of the church, which is full of interesting monu- 
ments: but I wish especially to direct his attention to two 
pictures, besides the celebrated Peter Martyr: namely, 

I have always called this church, in the text, ^ply "8t 
Paul," not Sts. John and Paul, just as the Venetians say San Giovan 
Paolo, and not Santi G., &c. 


1. The Crucifixion, by Tintoret; on the wall of the left- 
hand aisle, just before turning into the transept. A picture 
fifteen feet long by eleven or twelve high. I do not be- 
lieve that either the "Miracle of St. Mark," or the great 
"Crucifixion" in the Scuola di San Rocco, cost Tintoret more 
pains than this comparatively small work, which is now utterly 
neglected, covered with filth and cobwebs, and fearfully in- 
jured. As a piece of color, and light and shade, it is alto- 
gether marvellous. Of all the fifty figures which the picture 
contains, there is not one which in any way injures or con- 
tends with another; nay, there is not a single fold of garment 
or, touch of the pencil which could be spared; every virtue of 
Tintoret, as a painter, is there in its highest degree, color at 
once the most intense and the most delicate, the utmost 
decision in the arrangement of masses of light, and yet half 
(tones and modulations of endless variety; and all executed 
with a magnificence of handling which no words are ener- 
~getic enough to describe. I have hardly ever seen a picture 
in which there was so much decision, and so little impetuosity, 
and in which so little was conceded to haste, to accident, or 
to weakness. It is too infinite a work to be describable; but 
among its minor passages of extreme beauty, should especially 
be noticed the manner in which the accumulated forms of the 
human body, which fill the picture from end to end, are pre- 
vented from being felt heavy, by the grace and elasticity of 
two or three sprays of leafage which spring from a broken 
root in the foreground, and rise conspicuous in shadow against 
an interstice filled by the pale blue, grey, and golden light in 
which the distant crowd is invested, the office of this foliage 
being, in an artistical point of view, correspondent to that of 
the trees set by the sculptors of the Ducal Palace on its 
angles. But they have a far more important meaning in the 
picture than any artistical one. If the spectator will look 
carefully at the root which I have called broken, he will find that 
in reality, it is not broken, but cut; the other branches of the 
young tree having lately been cut away. When we remember 
that one of the principal incidents in great San Rocco Cruci- 
fixion is the ass feeding on withered palm leaves, we shall be 
at no loss to understand the great painter's purpose in lifting 


the branch of this mutilated olive against the dim light of the 
distant sky; while, close beside it, St. Joseph of Arimathea 
drags along the dust a white garment observe, the principal 
light of the picture, stained with the blood of that King 
before whom, five days before, his crucifiers had strewn their 
own garments in the way. 

2. Our Lady with the CamerlengM. (In the centre chapel 
of the three on the right of the choir.) A remarkable inst- 
ance of the theoretical manner of representing Scriptural facts, 
which, at this time, as noted in the second chapter of this 
volume, was undermining the belief of the facts themselves. 
Three Venetian chamberlains desired to have their portraits 
painted, and at the same time to express their devotion to the 
Madonna ; to that end they are painted kneeling before her,, 
and in order to account for their all three being together, and 
to give a thread or clue to the story of the picture, they are 
represented as the Three Magi ; but lest the spectator should 
think it strange that the Magi should be in the dress of Vene- 
tian chamberlains, the scene is marked as a mere ideality, by 
surrounding the person of the Virgin with saints who lived 
five hundred years after her. She has for attendants St. 
Theodore, St. Sebastian, and St. Carlo (query St. Joseph). 
One hardly knows whether most to regret the spirit which 
was losing sight of the verities of religious history in imagina- 
tive abstractions, or to praise the modesty and piety which 
desired rather to be represented as kneeling before the Virgin 
than in the discharge or among the insignia of important 
offices of state. 

As an " Adoration of the Magi," the picture is, of course, 
sufficiently absurd : the St. Sebastian leans back in the corner 
to be out of the way ; the three Magi kneel, without the 
slightest appearance of emotion, to a Madonna seated in a 
Venetian loggia of the fifteenth century, and three Venetian 
servants behind bear their offerings in a very homely sack, 
tied up at the mouth. As a piece of portraiture and artistical 
composition, the work is altogether perfect, perhaps the best 
piece of Tintoret's portrait-painting in existence. It is very 
carefully and steadily wrought, and arranged with consum- 
mate skill on a difficult plan. The canvas is a long oblong, I 


think about eighteen or twenty feet long, by about seven high ; 
one might almost fancy the painter had been puzzled to bring 
the piece into use, the figures being all thrown into positions 
which a little diminish their height. The nearest chamber- 
lain is kneeling, the two behind him bowing themselves 
slightly, the attendants behind bowing lower, the Madonna 
sitting, the St. Theodore sitting still lower on the steps at her 
feet, and the St. Sebastian leaning back, so that all the lines 
of the picture incline more or less from right to left as they 
ascend. This slope, which gives unity to the detached groups, 
is carefully exhibited by what a mathematician would call co- 
ordinates, the upright pillars of the loggia and the horizontal 
clouds of the beautiful sky. The color is very quiet, but rich 
and deep, the local tones being brought out with intense force, 
and the cast shadows subdued, the manner being much more 
that of Titian than of Tintoret. The sky appears full of light, 
though it is as dark as the flesh of the faces ; and the forms of 
its floating clouds, as well as of the hills over which they rise, 
are drawn with a deep remembrance of reality. There are 
hundreds of pictures of Tintoret's more amazing than this, 
but I hardly know one that I more love. 

The reader ought especially to study the sculpture round 
the altar of the Capella del Rosario, as an example of the 
abuse of the sculptor's art ; every accessory being labored out 
with as much ingenuity and intense effort to turn sculpture 
into painting, the grass, trees, and landscape being as far 
realized as possible, and in alto-relievo. These bas-reliefs are 
by various artists, and therefore exhibit the folly of the age, 
not the error of an individual. 

The following alphabetical list of the tombs in this church 
which are alluded to as described in the text, with references 
to the pages where they are mentioned, will save some trouble : 

Cavalli, Jacopo, III. 82. 
Cornaro, Marco, III. 11. 
Dolfin, Giovanni, III. 78. 
Giustiniani, Marco, I. 315. 
Mocenigo, Giovanni, III. 89. 
Mocenigo, Pietro, III. 89. 

Mocenigo, Tomaso, I. 8, 26, 

III. 84. 

Morosini, Michele, III. 80. 
Steno, Michele, III. 83. 
Vendramin, Andrea, I. 27, 

III. 88. 


important in Venice. It is early Renaissance, containing some 
good sculpture, but chiefly notable as containing a noble 
Sebastian del Piombo, and a John Bellini, which a few years 
hence, unless it be " restored," will be esteemed one of the 
most precious pictures in Italy, and among the most perfect 
in the world. John Bellini is the only artist who appears to 
me to have united, in equal and magnificent measures, justness 
of drawing, nobleness of coloring, and perfect manliness of 
treatment, with the purest religious feeling. He did, as far as 
it is possible to do it, instinctively and unaffectedly, what the 
Caracci only pretended to do. Titian colors better, but has 
not his piety. Leonardo draws better, but has not his color. 
Angelico is more heavenly, but has not his manliness, far less 
his powers of art. 

Titian and a Bonifazio. Of no other interest. 

the fourteenth century, small, but interesting, and said to 
. contain some precious works by Cima da Conegliano, and one 
by John Bellini. 

GIOVANNI Novo, CHURCH OF ST. Of no importance. 

GIOVANNI, S., SCUOLA DI. A fine example of the Byzantine 
Renaissance, mixed with remnants of good late Gothic. The 
little exterior cortile is sweet in feeling, and Lazari praises 
highly the work of the interior staircase. 

GIUDECCA. The crescent-shaped island (or series of islands), 
which forms the most northern extremity of the city of 
Venice, though separated by a broad channel from the main 
city. Commonly said to derive its name from the number of 
Jews who lived upon it ; but Lazari derives it from the word 
" Judicato," in Venetian dialect " Zudega," it having been in 
old time " adjudged" as a kind of prison territory to the more 
dangerous and turbulent citizens. It is now inhabited only by 
the poor, and covered by desolate groups of miserable dwel 
ings, divided by stagnant canals. 

Its two principal churches, the Redentore and St. 
are named in their alphabetical order. 

GIULIANO, CHURCH OF ST. Of no importance. 


Paul Veronese : otherwise of no importance. 

GIUSTINA, CHURCH OF ST. Of no importance. 

GIUSTINIANI PALAZZO, on the Grand Canal, now Albergo all' 
Europa. Good late fourteenth century Gothic, but much 

GIUSTINIANI, PALAZZO, next the Casa Foscari, on the Grand 
Canal. Lazari, I know not on what authority, says that tliN 
palace was built by the Giustiniani family before 1428. It is 
one of those founded directly on the Ducal Palace, together 
with the Casa Foscari at its side : and there could have been 
no doubt of their date on this ground ; but it would be inter- 
esting, after what we have seen of the progress of the Ducal 
Palace, to ascertain the exact year of the erection of any of 
these imitations. 

This palace contains some unusually rich detached windows, 
full of tracery, of which the profiles are given in the Appendix, 
under the title of the Palace of the Younger Foscari, it 
being popularly reported to have belonged to the son of the 

GIUSTINIAN LOLIN, PALAZZO, on the Grand Canal. Of no im- 

GRASSI PALAZZO, on the Grand CanaL now Albergo all' Im- 
perator d' Austria. Of no importance. 

GREGORIO, CHURCH OF ST., on the Grand Canal. An impor- 
tant church of the fourteenth century, now desecrated, but 
still interesting. Its apse is on the little canal crossing from 
the Grand Canal to the Giudecca, beside the Church of the 
Salute, and is very characteristic of the rude ecclesiastical 
Gothic contemporary with the Ducal Palace. The entrance to 
its cloisters, from the Grand Canal, is somewhat later ; a noble 
square door, with two windows on each side of it, the grandest 
examples in Venice of the late window of the fourth order. 

The cloister, to which this door gives entrance, is exactly 
contemporary with the finest work of the Ducal Palace, circa 
1350. It is the loveliest cortile I know in Venice ; its capitals 
consummate in design and execution ; and the low wall on 
which they stand showing remnants of sculpture unique, as 
far as I know, in such application. 


GRIMANI, PALAZZO, on the Grand Canal, III. 32. 

There are several other palaces in Venice belonging to this 
family, but none of any architectural interest. 


JESUITI, CHURCH OF THE. The basest Renaissance ; but worth 
a visit in order to examine the imitations of curtains in white 
marble inlaid with green. 

It contains a Tintoret, " The Assumption," which I have 
not examined ; and a Titian, " The Martyrdom of St. Law- 
rence," originally, it seems to me, of little value, and now, 
having been restored, of none. 


LABIA PALAZZO, on the Canna Reggio. Of no importance. 


LIBRERIA VECCHIA. A graceful building of the central Renais- 
sance, designed by Sansovino, 1536, and much admired by all 
architects of the school. It was continued by Scamozzi, down 
the whole side o'f St. Mark's Place, adding another story above 
it, which modern critics blame as destroying the " eurithmia ;" 
never considering that had the two low stories of the Library 
been continued along the entire length of the Piazza, they 
would have looked so low that the entire dignity of the square 
would have been lost. As it is, the Library is left in its 
originally good proportions, and the larger mass of the Pro- 
curatie Nuove forms a more majestic, though less graceful, 
side for the great square. 

But the real faults of the building are not in its number of 
stories, but in the design of the parts. It is one of the grossest 
examples of the base Renaissance habit of turning keystones 
into brackets, throwing them out in bold projection (not less 
than a foot and a half) beyond the mouldings of the arch ; a 
practice utterly barbarous, inasmuch as it evidently tends to 
dislocate the entire arch, if any real weight were laid on the 
extremity of the keystone ; and it is also a very characteristic 
example of the vulgar and painful mode of filling spandrils 
by naked figures in alto-relievo, leaning against the arch on 


each side, and appearing as if they were continually in danger 
of slipping off. Many of these figures have, however, some 
merit in themselves ; and the whole building is graceful and 
effective of its kind. The continuation of the Procuratie 
Nuove, at the western extremity of St. Mark's Place (together 
with various apartments in the great line of the Procuratie 
Nuove) forms the " Royal Palace," the residence of the 
Emperor when at Venice. This building is entirely modern, 
built in 1810, in imitation of the Procuratie Nuove, and on 
the site of Sansovino's Church of San Geminiano. 

In this range of buildings, including the Royal Palace, the 
Procuratie Nuove, the old Library, and the " Zecca" which is 
connected with them (the latter being an ugly building of very 
modern date, not worth notice architecturally), there are many 
most valuable pictures, among which I would especially direct 
attention, first to those in the Zecca, namely, a beautiful and 
strange Madonna, by Benedetto Diana ; two noble Bonifazios ; 
and two groups, by Tintoret, of the Provveditori della Zecca, 
by no means to be missed, whatever may be sacrificed to see 
them, on account of the quietness and veracity of their un- 
affected portraiture, and the absolute freedom from all vanity 
either in the painter or in his subjects. 

Next, in the " Antisala" of the old Library, observe the 
" Sapienza" of Titian, in the centre of the ceiling ; a most 
interesting work in the light brilliancy of its color, and the 
resemblance to Paul Veronese. Then, in the great hall of the 
old Library, examine the two large tintorets, " St. Mark sav- 
ing a Saracen from Drowning," and the " Stealing of his 
Body from Constantinople," both rude, but great (note in the 
latter the dashing of the rain on the pavement, and running 
of the water about the feet of the figures) : then in the narrow 
spaces between the windows, there are some magnificent single 
figures by Tintoret, among the finest things of the kind in 
Italy, or in Europe. Finally, in the gallery of pictures in 
the Palazzo Reale, among other good works of various kinds, 
are two of the most interesting Bonifazios in Venice, the 
" Children of Israel in their journey ings," in one of which, if 
I recollect right, the quails are coming in flight across a sun- 
set sky, forming one of the earliest instances I know of a 


thoroughly natural and Turneresque effect being felt and ren- 
dered by the old masters. The picture struck me chiefly from 
this circumstance ; but, the" note-book in which I had described 
it and its companion having been lost on my way home, I can- 
not now give a more special account of them, except that they 
are long, full of crowded figures, and peculiarly light in color 
and handling as compared with Bonifazio's work in general. 

LiO, CHURCH OF ST. Of no importance, but said to contain a 
spoiled Titian. 

LIO, SALIZZADA DI ST., windows in, II. 252, 257. 

LOREDAN, PALAZZO, on the Grand Canal, near the Rialto, II. 
123, 393. Another palace of this name, on the Campo St. 
Stefano, is of no importance. 

LORENZO, CHURCH OF ST. Of no importance. 

LUCA, CHURCH OF ST. Its campanile is of very interesting 
and quaint early Gothic, and it is said to contain a Paul 
Veronese, " St Luke and the Virgin." In the little Campiello 
St. Luca, close by, is a very precious Gothic door, rich in 
brickwork, of the thirteenth century ; and in the foundations 
of the houses on the same side of the square, but at the other 
end of it, are traceable some shafts and arches closely resem- 
bling the work of the Cathedral of Murano, and evidently hav- 
ing once belonged to some most interesting building. 

LUCIA, CHURCH OF ST. Of no importance. 



MLAIPIERO, PALAZZO, on the Campo St. M. Formosa, facing 
the canal at its extremity. A very beautiful example of the 
Byzantine Renaissance. Note the management of color in its 
inlaid balconies. 

MANFRINI, PALAZZO. The architecture is of no interest; and 
as it is in contemplation to allow the collection of pictures to 
be sold, I shall take no note of them. But even if they should 
remain, there are few of the churches in Venice where the 
traveller had not better spend his time than in this gallery; as, 
with the exception of Titian's "Entombment," one or two 
Giorgiones, and the little John Bellini (St. Jerome), the pic- 
tures are all of a kind which may be seen elsewhere. 


MAXGILI VALMARANA, PALAZZO, on the Grand Canal. Of no 

MANIN, PALAZZO, on the Grand Canal. Of no importance. 

MANZONI, PALAZZO, on the Grand Canal, near the Church of 
the Carita. A perfect and very rich example of Byzantine 
Kenaissance : its warm yellow marbles are magnificent. 

MARCILIAN, CHURCH OF ST. Said to contain a Titian, "Tobit 
and the Angel:" otherwise of no importance. 



MARK, CHURCH OF ST., history of, II. 57; approach to, II. 71; 
general teaching of, II. 112, 116; measures of facade of, II. 
126; balustrades of, II. 244, 247; cornices of, I. 311; horseshoe 
arches of, II. 249; entrances of, II. 271, III. 245; shafts of, II. 
384; base in baptistery of, I. 290; mosaics in atrium of, II. 112; 
mosaics in cupola of, II. 114, III. 192; lily capitals of, II. 137; 
Plates illustrative of (Vol. II.), VI. VII. figs. 9, 10, 11, VIII. 
figs. 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, IX. XL fig. 1, and Plate III. Vol. III. 

MARK, SQUARE OF ST. (Piazza di San Marco), anciently a 
garden, II. 58; general effect of, II. 66, 116; plan of, II. 

MARTINO, CHURCH OF ST. Of no importance. 

HATER DOMINI, CHURCH OF ST. MARIA. It contains two im- 
portant pictures: one over the second altar on the right, " St. 
Christina," by Vincenzo Catena, a very lovely example of the 
Venetian religious school; and, over the north transept door, 
the "Finding of the Cross," by Tintoret, a carefully painted 
and attractive picture, but by no means a good specimen of 
the master, as far as regards power of conception. He does 
not seem to have entered into his subject. There is no wonder, 
no rapture, no entire devotion in any of the figures. They 
are only interested and pleased in a mild way; and the kneel- 
ing woman who hands the nails to a man stooping forward to 
receive them on the right hand, does so with the air of a per- 
son saying, " You had better take care of them; they may be 
wanted another time." This general coldness in expression is 
much increased by the presence of several figures on the right 
and left, introduced for the sake of portraiture merely; and 


the reality, as well as the feeling, of the scene is destroyed by 
our seeing one of the youngest and weakest of the women with 
a huge cross lying across her knees, the whole weight of it 
resting upon her. As might have been expected, where the 
conception is so languid, the execution is little delighted in: 
it is throughout steady and powerful, but in no place affec- 
tionate, and in no place impetuous. If Tintoret had always 
painted in this way, he would have sunk into a mere me- 
chanist. It is, however, a genuine and tolerably well pre- 
served specimen, and its female figures are exceedingly grace- 
ful; that of St. Helena very queenly, though by no means 
agreeable in feature. Among the male portraits on the left 
there is one different from the usual types which occur either 
in Venetian paintings or Venetian populace; it is carefully 
painted, and more like a Scotch Presbyterian minister, than a 
Greek. The background is chiefly composed of architecture, 
white, remarkably uninteresting in color, and still more so in 
form. This is to be noticed as one of the unfortunate results 
of the Renaissance teaching at this period. Had Tintoret 
backed his Empress Helena with Byzantine architecture, the 
picture might have been one of the most gorgeous he ever 

teresting little piazza, surrounded by early Gothic houses, once 
of singular beauty; the arcade at its extremity, of fourth order 
windows, drawn in my folio work, is one of the earliest and 
loveliest of its kind in Venice; and in the houses at the side is 
a group of second order windows with their intermediate 
crosses, all complete, and well worth careful examination. 

MICHELE IN ISOLA, CHURCH OF ST. On the island between 
Venice and Murano. The little Cappella Emiliana at the side 
-of it has been much admired, but it would be difficult to find 
,a building more feelingless or ridiculous. It is more like a 
German summer-house, or angle turret, than a chapel, and 
may be briefly described as a bee-hive set on a low hexagonal 
tower, with dashes of stone-work about its windows like the 
flourishes of an idle penman. 

The cloister of this church is pretty; and the attached 
cemetery is worth entering, for the sake of feeling the 


strangeness of the quiet sleeping ground in the midst of 
the sea. 


MINELLI, PALAZZO. In the Corte del Maltese, at St. Paternian.. 
It has a spiral external staircase, very picturesque, but of the 
fifteenth century and without merit. 

MIRACOLI, CHURCH OF STA. MARIA DEI. The most interesting 
and finished example in Venice of the Byzantine Renaissance, 
and one of the most important in Italy of the cinque-cento 
style. All its sculptures should be examined with great care, 
as the best possible examples of a bad style. Observe, for 
instance, that in spite of the beautiful work on the square 
pillars which support the gallery at the west end, they have 
no more architectural effect than two wooden posts. The 
same kind of failure in boldness of purpose exists through- 
out; and the building is, in fact, rather a small museum of 
unmeaning, though refined sculpture, than a piece of archi- 

Its grotesques are admirable examples of the base Raphael- 
esque design examined above, III. 136. Note especially the 
children's heads tied up by the hair, in the lateral sculptures 
at the top of the altar steps. A rude workman, who could 
hardly have carved the head at all, might have allowed this or 
any other mode of expressing discontent with his own doings; 
but the man who could carve a child's head so perfectly must 
have been wanting in all human feeling, to cut it off, and tie 
it by the hair to a vine leaf. Observe, in the Ducal Palace, 
though far ruder in skill, the heads always emerge from the 
leaves, they are never tied to them. 

MISERICORDIA, CHURCH OF. The church itself is nothing, and 
contains nothing worth the traveller's time; but the Albergo 
de' Confratelli della Misericordia at its side is a very interest- 
ing and beautiful relic of the Gothic Renaissance. Lazari says, 
"del secolo xiv.;" but I believe it to be later. Its traceries 
are very curious and rich, and the sculpture of its capitals very 
fine for the late time. Close to it, on the right-hand side of 
the canal which is crossed by the wooden bridge, is one of the 
richest Gothic doors in Venice, remarkable for the appearance 
of antiquity in the general design and stiffne**" of its figures, 


though it bears its date 1505. Its extravagant crockets are 
almost the only features which, but for this written date, 
would at first have confessed its lateness; but, on examination, 
the figures will be found as bad and spiritless as they are ap- 
parently archaic, and completely exhibiting the Renaissance 
palsy of imagination. 

The general effect is, however, excellent, the whole arrange- 
ment having been borrowed from earlier work. 

The action of the statue of the Madonna, who extends her 
robe to shelter a group of diminutive figures, representative of 
the Socjety for whose house the sculpture was executed, may 
be also seen in most of the later Venetian figures of the Virgin 
which occupy similar situations. The image of Christ is 
placed in a medallion on her breast, thus fully, though con- 
ventionally, expressing the idea of self-support which is so 
often partially indicated by the great religious painters in their 
representations of the infant Jesus. 

MOISE, CHUKCH OF ST., III. 124. Notable as one of the basest 
examples of the basest school of the Renaissance. It contains 
one important picture, namely "Christ washing the Disciples' 
Feet," by Tintoret; on the left side of the chapel, north of the 
choir. This picture has been originally dark, is now much 
faded in parts, I believe, altogether destroyed and is hung 
in the worst light of a chapel, where, on a sunny day at noon, 
one could not easily read without a candle. I cannot, there- 
fore, give much information respecting it; but it is certainly 
one of the least successful of the painter's works, and both 
careless and unsatisfactory in its composition as well as its 
color. One circumstance is noticeable, as in a considerable 
degree detracting from the interest of most of Tintoret's re- 
presentations of our Saviour with his disciples. He never 
loses sight of the fact that all were poor, and the latter igno- 
rant; and while he never paints a senator, or a saint once 
thoroughly canonized, except as a gentleman, he is very care- 
ful to paint the Apostles, in their living intercourse with the 
Saviour, in such a manner that the spectator may see in an 
instant, as the Pharisee did of old, that they were unlearned 
and ignorant men; and, whenever we find them in a room, it 
is always such a one as would be inhabited by the lower classes. 


There seems some violation of tins practice in the dais, or 
flight of steps, at the top of which the Saviour is placed in the 
present picture; but we are quickly reminded that the guests' 
chamber or upper room ready prepared was not likely to have 
been in a palace, by the humble furniture upon the floor, con- 
sisting of a tub with a copper saucepan in it, a coffee-pot, and 
a pair of bellows, curiously associated with a symbolic cup with 
a wafer, which, however, is in an injured part of the canvas, 
and may have been added by the priests. I am totally unable 
to state what the background of the picture is or has been; 
and the only point farther to be noted about it is the solemnity, 
which, in spite of the familiar and homely circumstances above 
noticed, the painter has given to the scene, by placing the 
Saviour, in the act of washing the feet of Peter, at the top of 
a circle of steps, on which the other Apostles kneel in adora- 
tion and astonishment. 


MOROSINI, PALAZZO, near the Ponte dell' Ospedaletto, at San 
Giovannie Paolo. Outside it is not interesting, though the 
gateway shows remains of brickwork of the thirteenth century. 
Its interior court is singularly beautiful; the staircase of early 
fourteenth century Gothic has originally been superb, and the 
window in the angle above is the most perfect that I know in 
Venice of the kind; the lightly sculptured coronet is exqui- 
sitely introduced at the top of its spiral shaft. 

This palace still belongs to the Morosini family, to whose 
present representative, the Count Carlo Morosini, the reader 
is indebted for the note on the character of his ancestors, 
above, III. 213. 

MOROSINI, PALAZZO, at St. Stefano. Of no importance. 

NANI-MOCENIGO, PALAZZO. (Now Hotel Danieli. ) A glorious 
example of the central Gothic, nearly contemporary with the 
finest part of the Ducal Palace. Though less impressive in 
effect than the Casa Foscari or Casa Bernardo, it is of purer 
architecture than either: and quite unique in the delicacy of 
the form of the cusps in the central group of windows, which 
are shaped like broad scimitars, the upper foil of the windows 


being very small. If the traveller will compare these windows 
with the neighboring traceries of the Ducal Palace, he will 
easily perceive the peculiarity. 

NICOLO DEL LIDO, CHURCH OF ST. Of no importance. 

NOME DI GESU, CHURCH OP THE. Of no importance. 

ORFANI, CHURCH OF THE. Of no importance. 

ORTO, CHURCH OF STA. MARIA, DELL'. An interesting example 
of Renaissance Gothic, the traceries of the windows being very 
rich and quaint. 

It contains four most important Tintorets: " The Last 
Judgment," "The Worship of the Golden Calf," "The Pre- : 
sentation of the Virgin," and "Martyrdom of St. Agnes."J 
The first two are among his largest and mightiest works, but 
grievously injured by damp and neglect; and unless the travel- 
ler is accustomed to decipher the thoughts in a picture patient- 
ly, he need not hope to derive any pleasure from them. But 
no pictures will better reward a resolute study. The following 
account of the " Last Judgment," given in the second volume 
of "Modern Painters," will be useful in enabling the traveller 
to enter into the meaning of the picture, but its real power is 
only to be felt by patient examination of it. 

"ByTintoret only has this unimaginable event (the Last 
Judgment) been grappled with in its Verity; not typically nor 
symbolically, but as they may see it who shall not sleep, but be 
changed. Only one traditional circumstance he has received, 
with Dante and Michael Angelo, the Boat of the Condemned; 
but the impetuosity of his mind bursts out even in the adop- 
tion of this image; he has not stopped at the scowling ferry- 
man of the one, nor at the sweeping blow and demon dragging 
of the other, but, seized Hylas like by the limbs, and tearing 
up the earth in his agony, the victim is dashed into his 
destruction; nor is it the sluggish Lethe, nor the fiery lake, 
that bears the cursed vessel, but the oceans of the earth and 
the waters of the firmament gathered into one white, ghastly 
cataract; the river of the wrath of God, roaring down into the 
gulf where the world has melted with its fervent heat, choked 
with the ruins of nations, and the limbs of its corpses tossed 


out of its whirling, like water-wheels. Bat-like, out of the 
holes and caverns and shadows of the earth, the bones gather, 
and the clay heaps heave, rattling and adhering into half- 
kneaded anatomies, that crawl, and startle, and struggle up 
among the putrid weeds, with the clay clinging to their clotted 
hair, and their heavy eyes sealed by the earth darkness yet, 
like his of old who went his way unseeing to the Siloam Pool; 
shaking off one by one the dreams of the prison-house, hardly 
hearing the clangor of the trumpets of the armies of God, 
blinded yet more, as they awake, by the white light of the new 
Heaven, until the great vortex of the four winds bears up their 
bodies to the judgment seat; the Firmament is all full of them, 
a very dust of human souls, that drifts, and floats, and fulls 
into the interminable, inevitable light; the bright clouds are 
^darkened with them as with thick snow, currents of atom life 
in the arteries of heaven, now soaring up slowly, and higher 
and higher still, till the eye and the thought can follow no 
farther, borne up, wingless, by their inward faith and by the 
angel powers invisible, now hurled in countless drifts of horror 
before the breath of their condemnation." 

Note in the opposite picture the way the clouds are wrapped 
about in the distant Sinai. 

The figure of the little Madonna in the "Presentation" 
should be compared with Titian's in his picture of the same 
subject in the Academy. I prefer Tintoret's infinitely: and 
note how much finer is the feeling with which Tintoret has 
relieved the glory round her head against the pure sky, than 
that which influenced Titian in encumbering his distance with 

The "Martyrdom of St. Agnes" was a lovely picture. It 
has been " restored" since I saw it. 

OSPEDALETTO, CHURCH OF THE. The most monstrous example 
of the Grotesque Renaissance which there is in Venice; the 
sculptures on its fagade representing masses of diseased figures 
and swollen fruit. 

It is almost worth devoting an hour to the successive exam- 
ination of five buildings, as illustrative of the last degradation 
of the Renaissance. San Moise is the most clumsy, Santa 
Maria Zobenigo the most impious, St. Eustachio the most 


ridiculous, the Ospedaletto the most monstrous, and the head 
at Santa Maria Formosa the most foul. 

OTHELLO, HOUSE OF, at the Garmini. The researches of Mr. 
Brown into the origin of the play of " Othello " have, I think, 
determined that Shakspeare wrote on definite historical 
grounds; and that Othello may be in many points identified 
with Christopher Moro, the lieutenant of the republic at 
Oyprus, in 1508. See "Ragguagli su Maria Sanuto," i. 

His palace was standing till very lately, a Gothic building 
of the fourteenth century, of which Mr. Brown possesses a 
drawing. It is now destroyed, and a modern square- windowed 
house built on its site. A statue, said to be a portrait of Moro, 
but a most paltry work, is set in a niche in the modern wall. 


PANTALEONE, CHURCH OF ST. Said to contain a Paul Veronese; 
otherwise of no importance. 

PATERNIAN, CHURCH OF ST. Its little leaning tower forms an 
interesting object as the traveller sees it from the narrow canal 
which passes beneath the Porte San Paternian. The two 
arched lights of the belfry appear of very early workmanship, 
probably of the beginning of the thirteenth century. 

PESARO PALAZZO, on the Grand Canal. The most powerful and 
impressive in effect of all the palaces of the Grotesque Renais- 
sance. The heads upon its foundation are very characteristic 
of the period, but there is more genius in them than usual. 
Some of the mingled expressions of faces and grinning casques 
are very clever. 

PIAZZETTA, pillars of, see Final Appendix under head "Capital." 
The two magnificent blocks of marble brought from St. Jean 
d'Acre, which form one of the principal ornaments of the 
Piazzetta, are Greek sculpture of the sixth century, and will 
be described in my folio work. 

PIETA, CHURCH OF THE. Of no importance. 

PIETRO, CHURCH OF ST., at Murano. Its pictures, once valu- 
able, are now hardly worth examination, having been spoiled 
by neglect. 

PIETRO, Di CASTELLO, CHURCH OF ST., I. 7, 361. It is said to 


contain a Paul Veronese, and I suppose the so-called " Chair 
of St. Peter " must be worth examining. 

PISANI, PALAZZO, on the Grand Canal. The latest Venetian 
Gothic, just passing into Renaissance. The capitals of the 
first floor windows are, however, singularly spirited and grace- 
ful, very daringly undercut, and worth careful examination. 
The Paul Veronese, once the glory of this palace, is, I believe, 
not likely to remain in Venice. The other picture in the same 
room, the "Death of Darius," is of no value. 

PISANI, PALAZZO, at St. Stefano. Late Renaissance, and of no- 
merit, but grand in its colossal proportions, especially when 
seen from the narrow canal at its side, which terminated by 
the apse of the Church of San Stefano, is one of the most 
picturesque and impressive little pieces of water scenery in 

POLO, CHURCH OF ST. Of no importance, except as an example- 
of the advantages accruing from restoration. M. Lazari says 
of it, "Before this church was modernized, its principal 
chapel was adorned with Mosaics, and possessed a pala of 
silver gilt, of Byzantine workmanship, which is now lost." 

POLO, SQUARE OF ST. (Campo San Polo.) A large and im- 
portant square, rendered interesting chiefly by three palaces 
on the side of it opposite the church, of central Gothic (1360), 
and fine of their time, though small. One of their capitals 
lias been given in Plate II. of this volume, fig. 12. They are- 
remarkable as being decorated with sculptures of the Gothic 
time, in imitation of Byzantine ones; the period being marked 
by the dog-tooth and cable being used instead of the dentil 
round the circles. 

POLO, PALAZZO, at San G. Grisostomo (the house of Marco Polo), 
II. 139. Its interior court is full of interest, showing fragments 
of the old building in every direction, cornices, windows, and 
doors, of almost every period, mingled among modern rebuild- 
ing and restoration of all degrees of dignity. 


PRIULI, PALAZZO. A most important and beautiful early Gothic 
Palace, at San Severo; the main entrance is from the Funda- 
mento San Severo, but the principal facade is on the other 
side, towards the canal. The entrance has been grievously 


defaced, having had winged lions filling the spandrils of its 
pointed arch, of which only feeble traces are now left, the 
facade has very early fourth order windows in the lower story, 
and above, the beautiful range of fifth order windows drawn 
at the bottom of Plate XVIII. Vol. II., where the heads of the 
fourth order range are also seen (note their inequality, the 
larger one at the flank). This Palace has two most interesting 
traceried angle windows also, which, however, I believe are 
later than those on the fagade; and finally, a rich and bold 
interior staircase. 

series buildings, of late fifteenth century design, forming the 
northern side of St. Mark's Place, but of no particular interest. 


QUERINI, PALAZZO, now the Beccherie, II. 255, III. 234. 


RAFFAELLE, CHIESA DELL' ANGELO. Said to contain a Bonifazio, 
otherwise of no importance. 

REDENTORE, CHURCH OF THE, II. 378. It contains three inter- 
esting John Bellinis, and also, in the sacristy, a most beautiful 
Paul Veronese. 

REMER, CORTE DEL, house in. II. 251. 

REZZONICO, PALAZZO, on the Grand Canal. Of the Grotesque 
Renaissance time, but less extravagant than usual. 

RIALTO, BRIDGE OF THE. The best building raised in the time 
of the Grotesque Renaissance; very noble in its simplicity, in 
its proportions, and in its masonry. Note especially the 
grand way in which the oblique archstones rest on the but- 
ments of the bridge, safe, palpably both to the sense and eye: 
note also the sculpture of the Annunciation on the southern 
side of it; how beautifully arranged, so as to give more light- 
ness and a grace to the arch the dove, flying towards the 
Madonna, forming the keystone, and thus the whole action 
of the figures being parallel to the curve of the arch, while all 
the masonry is at right angles to it. Note, finally, one circum- 
stance which gives peculiar firmness to the figure of the angel, 
and associates itself with the general expression of strength in 


the whole building; namely that the sole of the advanced foot 
is set perfectly level, as if placed on the ground, instead of 
being thrown back behind like a heron's, as in most modern 
figures of this kind. 

The sculptures themselves are not good; but these pieces of 
feeling in them are very admirable. The two figures on the 
other side, St. Mark and St. Theodore, are inferior, though all 
by the same sculptor, Girolamo Campagna. 

The bridge was built by Antonio da Ponte, in 1588. It was 
anciently of wood, with a drawbridge in the centre, a repre- 
sentation of which may be seen in one of Carpaccio's pictures 
at the Accademia delle Belle Arti: and the traveller should 
observe that the interesting effect, both of this and the Bridge 
of Sighs, depends in great part on their both being more than 
bridges; the one a covered passage, the other a row of shops, 
sustained on an arch. No such effect can be produced merely 
by the masonry of the roadway itself. 

Kio DEL PALAZZO, II. 282. 

Rocco, CAMPIELLO DI SAN, windows in, II. 258. 

Rocco, CHUKCH OF ST. Notable only for the most interesting 
pictures by Tintoret which it contains, namely: 

1. San Rocco before the Pope. (On the left of the door as 

L^vre enter.) A delightful picture in his best manner, but not 
much labored; and, like several other pictures in this church, 
it seems to me to have been executed at some period of the 
painter's life when he was either in ill health, or else had got 
into a mechanical way of painting, from having made too little 
reference to nature for a long time. There is something stiff 
and forced in the white draperies on both sides, and a general 
character about the whole which I can feel better than I can 
describe; but which, if I had been the painter's physician, 
would have immediately caused me to order him to shut up 
his painting-room, and take a voyage to the Levant, and back 
again. The figure of the Pope is, however, extremely beauti- 
ful, and is not unworthy, in its jewelled magnificence, here 
dark against the sky, of comparison with the figure of the high 
priest in the " Presentation," in the Scuola di San Rocco. 

I* 2. Annunciation. (On the other side of the door, on enter- 

l ing.) A most disagreeable and dead picture, having all the 


faults of the age, and none of the merits of the painter. It 
must be a matter of future investigation to me, what could 
cause the fall of his mind from a conception so great and so 
fiery as that of the "Annunciation" in the Scuola di San 
Rocco, to this miserable reprint of an idea worn out centuries 
before. One of the most inconceivable things in it, considered 
as the work of Tintoret, is that where the angel's robe drifts 
away behind his limb, one cannot tell by the character of the 
outline, or by the tones of the color, whether the cloud comes 
in before the robe, or whether the robe cuts upon the cloud. 
The Virgin is uglier than that of the Scuola, and not half so 
real; and the draperies are crumpled in the most commonplace 
and ignoble folds. It is a picture well worth study, as an ex- 
ample of the extent to which the greatest mind may be be- 
trayed by the abuse of its powers, and the neglect of its proper 
food in the study of nature. 

3. Pool of Bethesda. (On the right side of the church, in its 
centre, the lowest of the two pictures which occupy the wall.) 
A noble work, but eminently disagreeable, as must be all 
pictures of this subject; and with the same character in it of 
undefinable want, which I have noticed in the two preceding 
works. The main figure in it is the cripple, who has taken 
up his bed; but the whole effect of this action is lost by his 
not turning to Christ, but flinging it on his shoulder like a 
triumphant porter with a huge load; and the corrupt Renais- 
sance architecture, among which the figures are crowded, is 
both ugly in itself, and much too small for them. It is worth 
noticing, for the benefit of persons who find fault with the 
perspective of the Pre-Raphaelites, that the perspective of the 
brackets beneath these pillars is utterly absurd; and that, in 
fine, the presence or absence of perspective has nothing to do 
with the merits of a great picture: not that the perspective of 
the Pre-Raphaelites is false in -any case that I have examined, 
the objection being just as untenable as it is ridiculous. 

4. San Rocco in the Desert. (Above the last-named picture. ) 
A single recumbent figure in a not very interesting landscape, 
deserving less attention than a picture of St. Martin just op- 
posite to it,-a noble and knightly figure on horseback by 
Pordenone, to which I cannot pay ,1 -renter compliment than 


by paying that I was a considerable time in doubt whether or 
not it way another Tintoret. 

5. San Rocco in the Hospital. (On the right-hand side of 
the altar.) There are four vast pictures by Tintoret in the 
_ dark choir of this church, not only important by their size 
(each being some twenty-five feet long by ten feet high), but 
also elaborate compositions; and remarkable, one for its extra- 
ordinary landscape, and the other as the most studied picture- 
in which the painter has introduced horses in violent action. 
In order to show what waste of human mind there is in these 
dark churches of Venice, it is worth recording that, as I was 
examining these pictures, there came in a party of eighteen 
German tourists, not hurried, nor jesting among themselves 
as large parties often do, but patiently submitting to their 
cicerone, and evidently desirous of doing their duty as intelli- 
gent travellers. They sat down for a long time on the benches 
of the nave, looked a little at the " Pool of Bethesda," walked 
up into the choir and there heard a lecture of considerable 
length from their valet-de-place upon some subject connected 
with the altar itself, which, being in German, I did not under- 
stand; they then turned and went slowly out of the church, 
not one of the whole eighteen ever giving a single glance to 
any of the four Tintorets, and only one of them, as far as I 
saw, even raising his eyes to the walls on which they hung, 
and immediately withdrawing them, with a jaded and non- 
chalant expression easily interpre table into " Nothing but old 
black pictures." The two Tintorets above noticed, at the end 
of the church, were passed also without a glance; and this 
neglect is not because the pictures have nothing in them ca- 
pable of arresting the popular mind, but simply because they 
are totally in the dark, or confused among easier and more 
prominent objects of attention. This picture, which I have 
called "St. Rocco in the Hospital,'' shows him, I suppose, in 
his general ministrations at such places, and is one of the 
usual representations of a disgusting subject from which 
neither Orcagna nor Tintoret seems ever to have shrunk. It 
is a very noble picture, carefully composed and highly wrought; 
but to me gives no pleasure, first, on account of its subject, 
secondly, on account of its dull brown tone all over, it being: 


impossible, or nearly so, in such a scene, and at all events in- 
consistent with its feeling, to introduce vivid color of any kind. 
.So it is a brown study of diseased limbs in a close room. 

6. Cattle Piece. (Above the picture last described. ) I can /V 
give no other name to this picture, whose subject I can neither 
guess nor discover, the picture being in the dark, and the 
guide-books leaving me in the same position. All I can make 
out of it is, that there is a noble landscape with cattle and 
figures. It seems to me the best landscape of Tintoret's in 
Venice, except the "Flight into Egypt;" and is even still more 
interesting from its savage character, the principal trees being 
pines, something like Titian's in his "St. Francis receiving 
the Stigmata," and chestnuts on the slopes and in the hollows 
of the hills; the animals also seem first-rate. But it is too 
high, too much faded, and too much in the dark to be made 
out. It seems never to have been rich in color, rather cool^ 
and grey, and very full of light. 

7. Finding of Body of San Rocco. (On the left-hand side 
of the altar.) An elaborate, but somewhat confused picture, 
with a flying angel in a blue drapery; but it seemed to me alto- 
gether uninteresting, or perhaps requiring more study than I 
was able to give it. 

8. San Rocco in Campo d* Armata. So this picture is call- 
ed by the sacristan. I could see no San Rocco in it; nothing 
but a wild group of horses and warriors in the most magnifi- 
cent confusion of fall and flight ever painted by man. They 
seem all dashed different ways as if by a whirlwind; and a 
whirlwind there must be, or a thunderbolt, behind them, for a 
huge tree is torn up and hurled into the air beyond the central 
figure, as if it were a shivered lance. Two of the horses meet 
in the midst, as if in a tournament; but in madness of fear, 
not in hostility; on the horse to the right is a standard-bearer, 
who stoops as from some foe behind him, with the lance 
laid across his saddle-bow, level, and the flag stretched out 1 
hind him as he flies, like the sail of a ship drifting fror 
mast; the central horseman, who meets the shock, of i 
enemy, whatever it be, is hurled backwards from his seat, hi 

a stone from a sling; and this figure with the shattered tr 
trunk behind it, is the most noble part of the picture. 


is another grand horse on the right, however, also in full ac- 
tion. Two gigantic figures on foot, on the left, meant to be 
nearer than the others, would, it seems to me, have injured the 
picture, had they been clearly visible; but time has reduced 
them to perfect subordination. 

Rocco, SCUOLA DI SAN, bases of, I. 291, 431; soffit ornaments of, 
I. 337. An interesting building of the early Renaissance 
(1517), passing into Roman Renaissance. The wreaths of leaf- 
age about its shafts are wonderfully delicate and fine, though 

As regards the pictures which it contains, it is one of the three 
most precious buildings in Italy; buildings, I mean, consist- 
ently decorated with a series of paintings at the time of their 
erection, and still exhibiting that series in its original order. I 
suppose there can be little question, but that the three most 
important edifices of this kind in Italy are the Sistine Chapel, 
the Campo Santo of Pisa, and the Scuola di San Rocco at 
Venice: the first is painted by Michael Angelo; the second by 
Orcagna, Benozzo Gozzoli, Pietro Laurati, and several other 
men whose works are as rare as they are precious; and the 
third by Tintoret. 

Whatever the traveller may miss in Venice, he should there- 
fore give unembarrassed attention and unbroken time to the 
Scuola di San Rocco; and I shall, accordingly, number the pic- 
tures, and note in them, one by one, what seemed to me most 
worthy of observation. 

There are sixty-two in all, but eight of these are merely of 
children or children's heads, and two of unimportant figures. 
The number of valuable pictures is fifty-two; arranged on the 
walls and ceilings of three rooms, so badly lighted, in conse- 
quence of the admirable arrangements of the Renaissance archi- 
tect, that it is only in the early morning that some of the pictures 
can be seen at all, nor can they ever be seen but imperfectly. 
They were all painted, however, for their places in the dark, and, 
as compared with Tintoret's other works, are therefore, for the 
most part, nothing more than vast sketches, made to produce, 
under a certain degree of shadow, the effect of finished pic- 
tures. Their treatment is thus to be considered as a kind of 
scene-painting; differing from ordinary scene-painting only in 


this, that the effect aimed at is not that of a natural scene but 
a perfect picture. They differ in this respect from all other 
existing works; for there is not, as far as I know, any other 
instance in which a great master has consented to work for 
a room plunged into almost total obscurity. It is probable 
that none but Tintoret would have undertaken the task, and 
most fortunate that he was forced to it. For in this magnifi- 
cent scene-painting we have, of course, more wonderful exam- 
ples, both of his handling, and knowledge of effect, than could 
ever have been exhibited in finished pictures; while the neces- 
sity of doing much with few strokes keeps his mind so com- 
pletely on the stretch throughout the work (while yet the 
velocity of production prevented his being wearied), that no 
other series of his works exhibits powers so exalted. On the 
other hand, owing to the velocity and coarseness of the paint- 
ing, it is more liable to injury through drought or damp; and, 
as the walls have been for years continually running down with 
rain, and what little sun gets into the place contrives to fall all 
day right on one or other of the pictures, they are nothing but 
wrecks of what they were; and the ruins of paintings originally 
coarse are not likely ever to be attractive to the public mind. 
Twenty or thirty years ago they were taken down to be re- 
touched; but the man to whom the task was committed provi- 
dentially died, and only one of them was spoiled. I have 
found traces of his work upon another, but not to an extent 
very seriously destructive. The rest of the sixty-two, or, at 
any rate, all that are in the upper room, appear entirely intact. 

Although, as compared with his other works, they are all 
very scenic in execution, there are great differences in their de- 
grees of finish; and, curiously enough, some on the ceilings and 
others in the darkest places in the lower room are very nearly 
finished pictures, while the "Agony in the Garden," which is in 
one of the best lights in the upper room, appears to have been 
painted in a couple of hours with a broom for a brush. 

For the traveller's greater convenience, I shall give a rude 
plan of the arrangement, and list of the subjects, of each group 
of pictures before examining them in detail. 


First Group. On the walls of the room on the ground floor. 


1. Annunciation. 

2. Adoration of Magi. 

3. Flight into Egypt. 

4. Massacre of Innocents. 

5. The Magdalen. 

6. St. Mary of Egypt. 

7. Circumcision. 

8. Assumption of Virgin. 

At the turn of the stairs leading to the upper room: 
9. Visitation. 

1. Tlie Annunciation. This, which first strikes the eye, is a 
very just representative of the whole group, the execution being 
carried to the utmost limits of boldness consistent with com- 
pletion. It is a well-known picture, and need not therefore be 
specially described, but one or two points in it require notice. 
The face of the Virgin is very disagreeable to the spectator from 
below, giving the idea of a woman about thirty, who had never 
been handsome. If the face is untouched, it is the only in- 
stance I have ever seen of Tintoret's failing in an intended 
effect, for, when seen near, the face is comely and youthful, and 
expresses only surprise, instead of the pain and fear of which 
it bears the aspect in the distance. I could not get near enough 
to see whether it had been retouched. It looks like Tintoret's 
work, though rather hard; but, as there are unquestionable 
murks in the retouching of this picture, it is possible that some 
slight restoration of lines supposed to be faded, entirely alter 


the distant expression of the face. One of the evident pieces 
of repainting is the scarlet of the Madonna's lap, which is 
heavy and lifeless. A far more injurious one is the strip of sky 
seen through the doorway by which the angel enters, which has 
originally been of the deep golden color of the distance on the 
left, and which the blundering restorer has daubed over with 
whitish blue, so that it looks like a bit of the wall; luckily 
he has not touched the.outlines of the angel's black wings, on 
which the whole expression of the picture depends. This 
angel and the group of small cherubs above form a great swing- 
ing chain, of which the dove representing the Holy Spirit 
forms the bend. The angels in their flight seem to be attach- 
ed to this as the train of fire is to a rocket; all of them appear- 
ing to have swooped down with the swiftness of a falling star. 

2. Adoration of the Magi. The most finished picture in the! 
Bcuola, except the " Crucifixion," and perhaps the most de- 
lightful of the whole. It unites every source of pleasure that a I 
picture can possess: the highest elevation of principal subject, 
mixed with the lowest detail of picturesque incident ; the dig- 
nity of the highest ranks of men, opposed to the simplicity of 
the lowest ; the quietness and serenity of an incident in cot- 
tage life, contrasted with the turbulence of troops of horsemen 
and the spiritual power of angels. The placing of the two 
doves as principal points of light in the front of the picture, 
in order to remind the spectator of the poverty of the mother 
whose child is receiving the offerings and adoration of three 
monarchs, is one of Tintoret's master touches ; the whole 
scene, indeed, is conceived in his happiest manner. Nothing 
can be at once more humble or more dignified than the bearing 
of the kings ; and there is a sweet reality given to the whole 
incident by the Madonna's stooping forward and lifting her 
hand in admiration of the vase of gold which has been set 
before the Christ, though she does so with such gentleness and 
quietness that her dignity is not in the least injured by the 
simplicity of the action. As if to illustrate the means by which 
the Wise men were brought from the East, the whole picture 
is nothing but a large star, of which Christ is the centre ; all 
the figures, even the timbers of the roof, radiate from the small 
bright figure on which the countenances of the flying angels 


are bent, the star itself, gleaming through the timbers above, 
being quite subordinate. The composition would til most be 
too artificial were it not broken by the luminous distance where 
the troop of horsemen are waiting for the kings. These, with , 
a dog running at full speed, tit once interrupt the symmetry of 
the lines, and form a point of relief from the over concentra- 
tion of all the rest of the action. 

3. Flight into Egypt. One of the principal figures here is 
the donkey. I have never seen any of the nobler animals 
lion, or leopard, or horse, or dragon made so sublime as this 
quiet head of the domestic ass, chiefly owing to the grand 
motion in the nostril and writhing in the ears. The space of 
the picture is chiefly occupied by lovely landscape, and the 
Madonna and St. Joseph are pacing their way along a shady 
path upon the banks of a river at the side of the picture. I 
had not any conception, until I got near, how much pains had 
been taken with the Virgin's head; its expression is as sweet 
and as intense as that of any of Raffaelle's, its reality far 
greater. The painter seems to have intended that everything 
should be subordinate to the beauty of this single head; and 
the work is a wonderful proof of the way in which a vast field 
of canvas may be made conducive to the interest of a single 
figure. This is partly accomplished by slightness of painting, 
so that on close examination, while there is everything to as- 
tonish in the masterly handling and purpose, there is not much 
perfect or very delightful painting; in fact, the two figures are 
treated like the living figures in a scene at the theatre, and 
finished to perfection, while the landscape is painted as hastily 
as the scenes, and with the same kind of opaque size color. It 
has, however, suffered as much as any of the series, and it is 
hardly fair to judge of its tones and colors in its present state, 

4. Massacre of the Innocents. The following account of this 
picture, given in "Modern Painters," maybe useful to the 
traveller, and is therefore here repeated. "I have before 
alluded to the painfulness of Raffaelle's treatment of the Mas- 
sacre of the Innocents. Fuseli affirms of it, that, < in dramatic 
gradation he disclosed all the mother through every image of 
pity and terror.' If this be so, I think the philosophical spirit 
has prevailed over the imaginative. The imagination never 


errs; it sees all that is, and all the relations and bearings of it; 
but it would not have confused the mortal frenzy of maternal 
terror, with various development of maternal character. Fear, 
rage, and agony, at their utmost pitch, sweep away all charac- 
ter: humanity itself would be lost in maternity, the woman 
would become the mere personification of animal fury or fear. 
For this reason all the ordinary representations of this subject 
are, I think, false and cold: the artist has not heard the 
shrieks, nor mingled with the fugitives ; he has sat down in his 
study to convulse features methodically, and philosophize over 
insanity. Not so Tintoret. Knowing, or feeling, that the 
expression of the human face was, in such circumstances, not ! 
to be rendered, and that the effort could only end in an 
ugly falsehood, he denies himself all aid from the features, he 
feels that if he is to place himself or us in the midst of that 
maddened multitude, there can be no time allowed for watch- 
ing expression. Still less does he depend on details of murder 
or ghastliness of death ; there is no blood, no stabbing or cut- ! 
ting, but there is an awful substitute for these in the chiaros- 
curo. The scene is the outer vestibule of a palace, the slip- 
pery marble floor is fearfully barred across by sanguine shadows, 
so that our eyes seem to become bloodshot and strained with 
strange horror and deadly vision ; a lake of life before them, 
like the burning seen of the doomed Moabite on the water 
that came by the way of Edom : a huge flight of stairs, with- 
out parapet, descends on the left ; down this rush a crowd of 
women mixed with the murderers ; the child in the arms of 
one has been seized by the limbs, she hurls herself over the 
edge, and falls head downmost, dragging the child out of the 
grasp by her weight ; she will be dashed dead in a second : 
close to us is the great struggle ; a heap of the mothers, en- 
tangled in one mortal writhe with each other and the swords ; 
one of the murderers dashed down and crushed beneath them, 
the sword of another caught by the blade and dragged at by a 
woman's naked hand ; the youngest and fairest of the women, 
her child just torn away from a death grasp, and clasped to 
her breast with the grip of a steel vice, falls backwards, help- 
less over the heap, right on the sword points ; all knit together 
and hurled down in one hopeless, frenzied, furious abandon- 


inent of body and soiil in the effort to save. Far back, at the 
bottom of the stairs, there is something in the shadow like a / 
heap of clothes. It is a woman, sitting quiet, quite quiet, 
still as any stone ; she looks down steadfastly on her dead 1 
6Mki, laid along on the floor before her, and her hand is 
pressed softly upon her brow." 

I have nothing to add to the above description of this pic- 
ture, except that I believe there may have been some change 
in the color of the shadow that crosses the pavement. The 
chequers of the pavements are, in the light, golden white and 
pale grey ; in the shadow, fed and dark grey, the white in the 
'sunshine becoming red in the shadow. I formerly supposed 
that this was meant to give greater horror to the- scene.,, and it 
is very like Tintoret if it be so ; but there is a strangeness and 
discordance in it which makes me suspect the colors may have 

5. The Magdalen. This and the picture opposite to it r " Si . 
Mary of Egypt," have been painted to fill up narrow spaces be- 
tween the windows which were not large enough to receive 
'compositions, and yet in which single figures would have looked 
awkwardly thrust into the corner. Tin, tore j^fts^rnnjjftjlhfi^. 
Spaces gj_jargLJis possible by filling them with landscapes, 
which are rendered interesting by the introduction of single 
figures of very small size. He has not, however, considered 
Jiis task, of making a small piece of wainscot look like & large 
one, worth the stretch of his powers, and has painted these two 
landscapes just as carelessly and as fast as an upholsterer s jour- 
neyman finishing a room at a railroad hotel. The color is for 
^e most part opaque, and dashed or scrawled on in the man- 
ner of a scene-painter ; and as during the whole morning the 
sun shines upon the one picture, and during the afternoon! 
Lupon the other, hues, which were originally thin and imper- 
fect, are now dried in many places into mere dirt upon the 
canvas. With all these drawbacks the pictures are of verv_ 
high interest, for although, as I said, hastily and carelessly, 
they are not languidly painted ; on the contrary, he has been 
in his hottest and grandest temper ; and in this first one . 
("Magdalen") the laurel tree, with its leaves driven hither 
and .thither among flakes of fiery cloud, has been probably one 


of the greatest achievements that his hand performed in land- 
scape : its roots are entangled in underwood ; of which every 
leaf seems to be articulated, yet all is as wild as if it had grown! 
there instead of having been painted ; there has been a moun- > 
tain distance, too, and a sky of stormy light, of which I infi- 
nitely regret the loss, for though its masses of light are still j 
discernible, its variety of hue is all sunk into a withered brown. J 
There is a curious piece of execution in the striking of the 
light upon a brook which runs under the roots of the laurel in 
the foreground : these roots are traced in shadow against the 
bright surface of the water ; another painter would have drawn 
the light first, and drawn the dark roots over it. Tintoret has 
laid in a brown ground which he has left for the roots, and 
painted the water through their interstices with a few mighty V 
rolls of his brush laden with white. 

6. St. Mary of Egypt. This picture differs but little in the ( 
plan, from the one opposite, except that St. Mary has her back 
towards us, and the Magdalen her face, and that the tree on i 
the other side of the brook is a palm instead of a laurel. The 
brook (Jordan ?) is, however, here much more important ; and 
the water painting is exceedingly fine. Of all painters that I 
know, in old times, Tintoret is the fondest of running water ; 
there was a sort of sympathy between it and his own impetu- 
ous spirit. The rest of the landscape is not of much interest, 
except so far as it is pleasant to see trunks of trees drawn by 
single strokes of the brush. 

7. The Circumcision of Christ. The custode has some story 
about this picture having been painted in imitation of Paul 
Veronese. I much doubt if Tintoret ever imitated any body ; 
but this picture is the expression of his perception of what 
Veronese delighted in, the nobility that there may be in mere 
golden tissue and colored drapery. It is, in fact, a picture of 
the moral power of gold and color ; and the chief use of the 
attendant priest is to support upon his shoulders the crimson 
robe, with its square tablets of black and gold ; and yet noth- 
ing is withdrawn from the interest or dignity of the scene. 
Tintoret has taken immense pains with the head of the high- 
priest. I know not any existing old man's head so exquisitely 
tender, or so noble in its lines. He receives the Infant Christ 


in his arms kneeling, and looking down upon the Child with 
infinite veneration and love ; and the flashing of golden rays 
from its head is made the centre of light, and all interest. 
The whole picture is like a golden charger to receive the 
Child ; the priest's dress is held up behind him, that it may 
occupy larger space ; the tables and floor are covered with 
chequer- work ; the shadows of the temple are filled with brazen 
lamps ; and above all are hung masses of curtains, whose crim- 
son folds are strewn over with golden flakes. Next to the 
" Adoration of the Magi" this picture is the most laboriously 
finished of the Scuola di San Rocco, and it is unquestionably 
the highest existing type of the sublimity which may be thrown 
into the treatment of accessaries of dress and decoration. 

8. Assumption of the Virgin. On the tablet or panel of 
stone which forms the side of the tomb out of which the Ma- 
donna rises, is this inscription, in large letters, EEST. AN- 
TONITJS FLORIAN, 1834. Exactly in proportion to a 
man's idiocy, is always the size of the letters in which he 
writes his name on the picture that he spoils. The old mo- 
saicists in St. Mark's have not, in a single instance, as far as I 
know, signed their names ; but the spectator who wishes to 
know who destroyed the effect of the nave, may see his name 
inscribed, twice over, in letters half a foot high, BAETOLOMEO 
BOZZA. I have never seen Tintoret's name signed, except in 
the great " Crucifixion ;" but this Antony Florian, I have no 
doubt, repainted the whole side of the tomb that he might put 
his name on it. The picture is, of course, ruined wherever he 
touched it ; that is to say, half over ; the circle of cherubs in 
the sky is still pure ; and the design of the great painter is 
palpable enough yet in the grand flight of the horizontal angel, 
on whom the Madonna half leans as she ascends. It has been 
a noble picture, and is a grievous loss ; but, happily, there are 
so many pure ones, that we need not spend time in gleaning 
treasures out of the ruins of this. 

9. Visitation. A small picture, painted in his very best 
manner ; exquisite in its simplicity, unrivalled in vigor, well 
preserved, and, as a piece of painting, certainly one of the 
most precious in Venice. Of course it does not show any of 
his high inventive powers ; nor can a picture of four middle- 


sized figures be made a proper subject of comparison with large 
canvases containing forty or fifty ; but it is, for this very 
reason, painted with such perfect ease, and yet with no slack- 
ness either of affection or power, that there is no picture that 
I covet so much. It is, besides, altogether free from the 
Eenaissance taint of dramatic effect. The gestures are as sim- 
ple and natural as Giotto's, only expressed by grander lines, 
.such as none but Tintoret ever reached. The draperies are 
dark, relieved against a light sky, the horizon being exces- 
sively low, and the outlines of the drapery so severe, that the 
intervals between the figures look like ravines between great 
rocks, and have all the sublimity of an Alpine valley at twi- 
light. This precious picture is hung about thirty feet above 
the eye, but by looking at it in a strong light, it is discover- 
able that the Saint Elizabeth is dressed in green and crimson, 
the Virgin in the peculiar red which all great colorists de- 
light in a sort of glowing brick-color or brownish scarlet, op- 
posed to rich golden brownish black ; and both have white 
kerchiefs, or drapery, thrown over their shoulders. Zacharias 
leans on his staff behind them in a black dress with white 
sleeves. The stroke of brilliant white light, which outlines 
the knee of Saint Elizabeth, is a curious instance of the habit 
of the painter to relieve his dark forms by a sort of halo of 
more vivid light, which, until lately, one would have been apt 
to suppose a somewhat artificial and unjustifiable means of 
effect. The daguerreotype has shown, what the naked eye 
never could, that the instinct of the great painter was true, 
and that there is actually such a sudden and sharp line of light 
round the edges of dark objects relieved by luminous space. 

Opposite this picture is a most precious Titian, the "An- 
nunciation/' full of grace and beauty. I think the Madonna 
one of the sweetest figures he ever painted. But if the travel- 
ler has entered at all into the spirit of Tintoret, he will imme- 
diately feel the comparative feebleness and conventionality of 
the Titian. Note especially the mean and petty folds of the 
.angel's drapery, and compare them with the draperies of the 
opposite picture. The larger pictures at the sides of the stairs 
by Zanchi and Negri, are utterly worthless. 


Second Group. On the walls of the upper room. 

10. Adoration of Shepherds. 17. Resurrection of Lazarus. 

11. Baptism. 

12. Resurrection. 

13. Agony in Garden. 

14. Last Supper. 

15. Altar Piece: St. Rocco. 

16. Miracle of Loaves. 

18. Ascension. 

19. Pool of Bethesda. 

20. Temptation. 

21. St. Rocco. 

22. St. Sebastian. 

10. The Adoration of the Shepherds. This picture com- 
mences the series of the upper room, which, as already no- 
ticed, is painted with far less care than that of the lower. It 
is one of the painter's inconceivable caprices that the only 
canvases that are in good light should be covered in this hasty 
manner, while those in the dungeon below, and on the ceiling 
above, are all highly labored. It is, however, just possible that 
the covering of these walls may have been an after-thought, 
when he had got tired of his work. They are also, for the most 
part, illustrative of a principle of which I am more and more 
convinced every day, that historical and figure pieces ought 
not to be made vehicles for effects of light. The light which 
is fit for a historical picture is that tempered semi-sunshine 
of which, in general, the works of Titian are the best exam- 
ples, and of which the picture we have just passed, " The Vis- 
itation," is a perfect example from the hand of one greater 
than Titian ; so also the three " Crucifixions" of San Rocco, 
San Cassano, and St. John and Paul; the "Adoration of the 


Magi" here; and, in general, the finest works of the master; 
but Tintoret was not a man to work in any formal or syste- 
matic manner; and, exactly like Turner, we find him recording 
every effect which Nature herself displays. Still he seems to 
regard the pictures which deviate from the great general prin- 
ciple of colorists rather as " tours de force" than as sources: 
of pleasure; and I do not think there is any instance of his 
having worked out one of these tricky pictures with thorough 
affection, except only in the case of the "Marriage of Caiia." 1 
By tricky pictures, I mean those which display light entering 
in different directions, and attract the eye to the effects rather 
than to the figure which displays them. Of this treatment, I 
we have already had a marvellous instance in the candle- 
light picture of the "Last Supper "in San Giorgio Maggiore. 
This "Adoration of the Shepherds" has probably been nearly 
as wonderful when first painted: the Madonna is seated on a 
kind of hammock floor made of rope netting, covered with 
straw; it divides the picture into two stories, of which the 
uppermost contains the Virgin, with two women who are 
adoring Christ, and shows light entering from above through 
the loose timbers of the roof of the stable, as well as through 
the bars of a square window; the lower division shows this 
light falling behind the netting upon the stable floor, oc- 
cupied by a cock and a cow, and against this light are re- 
lieved the figures of the shepherds, for the most part in 
demi-tint, but with flakes of more vigorous sunshine falling 
here and there upon them from above. The optical illusion 
has originally been as perfect as one of Hunt's best interiors; 
but it is most curious that no part of the work seems to have 
been taken any pleasure in by the painter; it is all by his hand, j 
but it looks as if he had been bent only on getting over the 
ground. It is literally a piece of scene-painting, and is exactly ! 
what we might fancy Tintoret to have done, had he been 
forced to paint scenes at a small theatre at a shilling a day. 
I cannot think that the whole canvas, though fourteen feet 
high and ten wide, or thereabouts, could have taken him more 
than a couple of days to finish: and it is very noticeable that 
exactly in "proportion to the brilliant effects of light is the 
coarseness of the execution, for the figures .of the Madonna 
and of the women above, which are not in any strong effect, 



are painted with some care, while the shepherds and the cow 
are alike slovenly; and the latter, which is in full sunshine, is 
recognizable for a cow more by its size and that of its horns, 
than by any care given to its form. It is interesting to con- 
trast this slovenly and mean sketch with the ass's head in the 
"Flight into Egypt," on which the painter exerted his full 
power; as an effect of light, however, the work is, of course, 
most interesting. One point in the treatment is especially, 
noticeable: there is a peacock in the rack beyond the cow; and 
under other circumstances, one cannot doubt that Tintoret 
would have liked a peacock in full color, and would have 
painted it green and blue with great satisfaction. It is sacri- 
ficed to the light, however, and is painted in warm grey, with 
a dim eye or two in the tail: this process is exactly analogous 
to Turner's taking the colors out of the flags of his ships in 
the "Gosport." Another striking point is the litter with 
which the whole picture is filled in order more to confuse the 
eye: there is straw sticking from the roof, straw all over the 
hammock floor, and straw struggling hither and thither all 
over the floor itself; and, to add to the confusion, the glory i 
around the head of the infant, instead of being united and 
serene, is broken into little bits, and is like a glory of chopped 
straw. But the most curious thing, after all, is the want of 
delight in any of the principal figures, and the comparative 
meanness and commonplaceness of even the folds of the drap- 
ery. It seems as if Tintoret had determined to make the 
shepherds as uninteresting as possible; but one does not see 
why their very clothes should be ill painted, and their disposi- 
tion unpicturesque. I believe, however, though it never struck 
me until I had examined this picture, that this is one of the 
painter's fixed principles: he does not, with German sentimen- 
tality, make shepherds and peasants graceful or sublime, but 
he purposely vulgarizes them, not by making their actions or 
their faces boorish or disagreeable, but rather by painting them 
ill, and composing their draperies tamely. As far as I recol- 
lect at present, the principle is universal with him; exactly in 
proportion to the dignity of character is the beauty of the 
painting. He will not put out his strength upon any man 
belonging to the lower classes; and, in order to know what the 


painter is, one must see him at work on a king, a senator, or a 
saint. The curious connexion of this with the aristocratic 
tendencies of the Venetian nation, when we remember that 
Tintoret was the greatest man whom that nation produced, may 
become very interesting, if followed out. I forgot to note that, 
though the peacock is painted with great regardlessness of 
color, there is a feature in it which no common painter would 
have observed, the peculiar flatness of the back, and undula- 
tion of the shoulders: the bird's body is all there, though its 
feathers are a good deal neglected; and the same thing is 
noticeable in a cock who is pecking among the straw near the 
spectator, though in other respects a shabby cock enough. 
The fact is, I believe, he had made his shepherds so common- 
place that he dare not paint his animals well, otherwise one 
would have looked at nothing in the picture but the peacock, 
cock, and cow. I cannot tell what the shepherds are offering; 
they look like milk bowls, but they are awkwardly held up, 
with such twistings of body as would have certainly spilt the 
milk. A woman in front has a basket of eggs; but this I 
imagine to be merely to keep up the rustic character of the 
scene, and not part of the shepherd's offerings. 

11. Baptism. There is more of the true picture quality in 
this work than in the former one, but still very little appear- 
ance of enjoyment or care. The color is for the most part 
grey and uninteresting, and the figures are thin and meagre 
in form, and slightly painted; so much so, that of the nine- 
teen figures in the distance, about a dozen are hardly worth 
calling figures, and the rest are so sketched and flourished in 
that one can hardly tell which is which. There is one point 
about it very interesting to a landscape painter: the river is 
seen far into the distance, with a piece of copse bordering it; j 
the sky beyond is dark, but the water nevertheless receives a 
brilliant reflection from some unseen rent in the clouds, so 
brilliant, that when I was first at Venice, not being accustomed 
to Tintoret's slight execution, or to see pictures so much 
injured, I took this piece of water for a piece of sky. The 
effect as Tintoret has arranged it, is indeed somewhat un- 
natural, but it is valuable as showing his recognition of a 
principle unknown to half the historical painters of the present 


day, that the reflection seen in the water is totally different 
from the object seen above it, and that it is very possible to 
have a bright light in reflection where there appears nothing 
but darkness to be reflected. The clouds in the sky itself are 
round, heavy, and lightless, and in a great degree spoil what 
would otherwise be a fine landscape distance. Behind the 
rocks on the right, a single head is seen, with a collar on the- 
shoulders : it seems to be intended for a portrait of some per- 
son connected with the picture. 

12. Resurrection. Another of the "effect of light" pictures, ' 
and not a very striking one, the best part of it being the two- 
distant figures of the Maries seen in the dawn of the morning. 
The conception of the Resurrection itself is characteristic of 
the worst points of Tintoret. His impetuosity is here in 
the wrong place; Christ bursts out of the rock like a thunder- 
bolt, and the angels themselves seem likely to be crushed 
under the rent stones of the tomb. Had the figure of Christ 
been sublime, this conception might have been accepted; but, 
on the contrary, it is weak, mean, and painful; and the whole 
picture is languidly or roughly painted, except only the fig- 
tree at the top of the rock, which, by a curious caprice, is not 
only drawn in the painter's best manner, but has golden ribs 
to all its leaves, making it look like one of the beautiful 
crossed or chequered patterns, of which he is so fond in his 
dresses; the leaves themselves being a dark olive brown. 

13. The Agony in the Garden. I cannot at present under- 
stand the order of these subjects; but they may have been mis- 
placed. This, of all the San Rocco pictures, is the most 
hastily painted, but it is not, like those we have been passing, 
clodly painted; it seems to have been executed altogether with 

a hearth-broom, and in a few hours. It is another of the* , 
"effects," and a very curious one; the Angel who bears the 
cup to Christ is surrounded by a red halo; yet the light which 
falls upon the shoulders of the sleeping disciples, and upon the 
leaves of the olive-trees, is cool and silvery, while the troop 
coming up to seize Christ are seen by torch-light. Judas, who- 
is the second figure, points to Christ, but turns his head away 
as he does so, as unable to look at him. This is a noble touch; 
the foliage is also exceedingly fine, though what kind of olive- 

fcOcco, SCUOLA bi SAN. 349 

tree bears such leaves I know not, each of them being about 
the size of a man's hand. If there be any which bear such 
foliage, their olives must be the size of cocoa-nuts. This, 
however, is true only of the underwood, which is, perhaps, 
not meant for olive. There are some taller trees at the top of 
the picture, whose leaves are of a more natural size. On 
closely examining the figures of the troops on the left, I find 
that the distant ones are concealed, all but the limbs, by a sort 
of arch of dark color, which is now so injured, that I cannot 
tell whether it was foliage or ground: I suppose it to have 
been a mass of close foliage, through which the troop is break- 
ing its way; Judas rather showing them the path, than actu- 
ally pointing to Christ, as it is written, "Judas, who betrayed 
him, knew the place." St. Peter, as the most zealous of the 
three disciples, the only one who was to endeavor to defend 
his Master, is represented as awakening and turning his head 
toward the troop, while James and John are buried in pro- 
found slumber, laid in magnificent languor among the leaves. 
'The picture is singularly impressive, when seen far enough off, 
as an image of thick forest gloom amidst the rich and tender 
foliage of the South; the leaves, however, tossing as in disH 
turbed night air, and the flickering of the torches, and of the 
branches, contrasted with the steady flame which from the 
Angel's presence is spread over the robes of the disciples. 
'The strangest feature in the whole is fchat the Christ also is 
represented as sleeping. The angel seems to appear to him 
;in a dream. 

14. The Last Supper, A most unsatisfactory picture ; I 
think about the worst I know of Tintoret's, where there is no 
.appearance of retouching. He always makes the disciples in 
.this scene too vulgar; they are here not only vulgar, but 
-diminutive, and Christ is at the end of the table, the smallest 
.figure of them all. The principal figures are two mendicants 
sitting on steps in front; a kind of supporters, but I suppose 
intended to be waiting for the fragments; a dog, in still more 
earnest expectation, is watching the movements of the dis 
ciples, who are talking together, Judas having just gone out. 
Christ is represented as giving what one at first supposes is 
sop to Judas, but as the disciple who received it has a glory, 


and there are only eleven at table, it is evidently the Sacra- 
mental bread. The room in which they are assembled is a 
sort of large kitchen, and the host is seen employed at a 
dresser in the background. This picture has not only been 
originally poor, but is one of those exposed all day to the sun, 
and is dried into mere dusty canvas: where there was once 
blue, there is now nothing. 

15. Saint Rocco in Glory. One of the worst order of Tin- 
torets, with apparent smoothness and finish, yet languidly 
painted, as if in illness or fatigue; very dark and heavy in 
tone also; its figures, for the most part, of an awkward middle 
size, about five feet high, and very uninteresting. St. Rocco 
ascends to heaven, looking down upon a crowd of poor and 
sick persons who are blessing and adoring him. One of these, 
kneeling at the bottom, is very nearly a repetition, though a 
careless and indolent one, of that of St. Stephen, in St. 
Giorgio Maggiore, and of the central figure in the " Paradise" 
of the Ducal Palace. It is a kind of lay figure, of which he 
seems to have been fond ; its clasped hands are here shockingly 
painted I should think unfinished. It forms the only im- 
portant light at the bottom, relieved on a dark ground; at the I 
top of the picture, the figure of St. Rocco is seen in shadow 
against the light of the sky, and all the rest is in confused 
shadow. The commonplaceness of this composition is curiously 
connected with the languor of thought and touch throughout 
the work. 

16. Miracle of the Loaves. Hardly anything but a fine 
piece of landscape is here left; it is more exposed to the sun 
than any other picture in the room, and its draperies having_ 
been, in great part, painted in blue, are now mere patches of 
the color of starch; the scene is also very imperfectly con- 
ceived. The twenty-one figures, including Christ and his 
Disciples, very ill represent a crowd of seven thousand; still 
less is the marvel of the miracle expressed by perfect ease and 
rest of the reclining figures in the foreground, who do not 
so much as look surprised; considered merely as reclining 
figures, and as pieces of effect in half light, they have once 
been fine. The landscape, which represents the slope of a 
woody hill, has a very grand and far-away look. Behind it is a 


great space of streaky sky, almost prismatic in color, rosy and 
golden clouds covering up its blue, and some fine vigorous 
trees thrown against it; painted in about ten minutes each, 
however, by curly touches of the brush, and looking rather 
more like sea-weed than foliage. 

17. Resurrection of Lazarus. Very strangely, and not im- 
pressively conceived. Christ is half reclining, half sitting, at 
the bottom, of the picture, while Lazarus is disencumbered of 
his grave-clothes at the top of it; the scene being the side of a 
rocky hill, and the mouth of the tomb probably once visible 
in the shadow on the left; but all that is now discernible is a 
man having his limbs unbound, as if Christ were merely order- 
ing a prisoner to be loosed. There appears neither awe nor 
agitation, nor even much astonishment, in any of the figures 
of the group; but the picture is more vigorous than any of the 
three last mentioned, and the upper part of it is quite worthy 
of the master, especially its noble fig-tree and laurel, which he 
has painted, in one of his usual fits of caprice, as carefully as 
that in the " Resurrection of Christ," opposite. Perhaps he 
has some meaning in this; he may have been thinking of the 
verse, " Behold the fig-tree, and all the trees; when they nowj 
shoot forth," &c. In the present instance, the leaves are dark 
only, and have no golden veins. The uppermost figures also 
come dark against the sky, and would form a precipitous mass, 
like a piece of the rock itself, but that they are broken in up- 
on by one of the limbs of Lazarus, bandaged and in full light, 
which, to my feeling, sadly injures the picture, both as a dis- 
agreeable object, and a light in the wrong place. The grass 
and weeds are, throughout, carefully painted, but the lower 
figures are of little interest, and the face of the Christ a griev- 
ous failure. 

18. The Ascension. I have always admired this picture, 
though it is very slight and thin in execution, and cold in 
color; but it is remarkable for its thorough effect of open air, 
and for the sense of motion and clashing in the wings of the 
Angels which sustain the Christ: they owe this effect a good 
deal to the manner in which they are set, edge on; all seem 
like sword-blades cutting the air. It is the most curious m 
conception of all the pictures in the Scuola, for it represents, 


beneath the Ascension, a kind of epitome of what took place 
before the Ascension. In the distance are two Apostles walk- 
ing, meant, I suppose, for the two going to Emmaus; nearer 
are a group round a table, to remind us of Christ appearing to j 
them as they sat at meat; and in the foreground is a single i 
reclining figure of, I suppose, St. Peter, because we are told J 
that "he waa seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:" but this in- 
terpretation is doubtful; for why should not the vision by the 
Lake of Tiberias be expressed also? And the strange thing 
6f all is the scene, for Christ ascended from the Mount of 
Olives; but the Disciples are walking, and the table is set, in a 
little marshy and grassy valley, like some of the bits near 
Maison Neuve on the Jura, with a brook running through it, 
so capitally expressed, that I believe it is this which makes me^ 
so fond of the picture. The reflections are as scientific in the 
diminution, in the image, of large masses of bank above, as 
any of Turner's, and the marshy and reedy ground looks as if 
one would sink into it; but what all this has to do with the 
Ascension I cannot see. The figure of Christ is not undigni- 
fied, but by no means either interesting or sublime. 

19. Pool of Bethesda. I have no doubt the principal figures 
have been repainted; but as the colors are faded, and the sub- 
ject disgusting, I have not paid this picture sufficient attention 
to say how far the injury extends; nor need any one spend 
time upon it, unless after having first examined all the other 
Tintorets in Venice. All the great Italian painters appear in- 
sensible to the feeling of disgust at disease; but this study of 
the population of an hospital is without any points of contrast, 
and I wish Tintoret had not condescended to paint it. This 
and the six preceding paintings have all been uninteresting, 
I believe chiefly owing to the observance in them of Sir Joshua's 
rule for the heroic, "that drapery is to be mere drapery, and 
not silk, nor satin, nor brocade." However wise such a rule 
may be when applied to works of the purest religious art, it is 
anything but wise as respects works of color. Tintoret is never 
quite himself unless he has fur or velvet, or rich stuff of one 
sort or the other, or jewels, or armor, or something that he can 
put play of color into, among his figures, and not dead folds of 
linsey-woolsey; and I believe that even the best pictures of 


Haffaelle and Angelico are not a little helped by their hems 
of robes, jewelled crowns, priests' copes, and so on; and the 
pictures that have nothing of this kind in them, as for 
instance the "Transfiguration," are to my mind not a little 

20. Temptation. This picture singularly illustrates what 
has just been observed; it owes great part of its effect to the lustre 
of the jewels in the armlet of the evil angel, and to the beauti- 
iul colors of his wings. These are slight accessaries apparently, J 
but they enhance the value of all the rest, and they haye 
dently been enjoyed by the painter. The armlet is seen by 
reflected light, its stones shining by inward lustre; this occult 
fire being the only hint given of the real character of the ' 
Tempter, who is otherways represented in the form of a beauti- 
ful angel, though the face is sensual: we can hardly tell how, 
far it was intended to be therefore expressive of evil; for Tin- 
tore t's good angels have not always the purest features; but 
there is a peculiar subtlety in this telling of the story by s<Tj 
slight a circumstance as the glare of the jewels in the darkness. 
It is curious to compare this imagination with that of the 
mosaics in St. Mark's, in which Satan is a black monster, with 
horns, and head, and tail, complete. The whole of the picture 
is powerfully and carefully painted, though very broadly; it is 
a strong effect of light, and therefore, as usual, subdued in 
color. The painting of the stones in the foreground I have j 
always thought, and still think, the best piece of rock drawing 
before Turner, and the most amazing instance of Tintoret's per- 
ceptiveness afforded by any of his pictures. 

21. 8t. Rocco. Three figures occupy the spandnls o 
window above this and the following picture, painted merely in 
light and shade, two larger than life, one rather smaller, 
believe these to be by Tintoret; but as they are quite in \ 
dark BQ that the execution cannot be seen, and very goo 
signs of the kind have been furnished by other masters I can- 
not answer for them. The figure of St. Kocco, as well 
companion, St. Sebastian, is colored; they occupy the n: 
intervals between the windows, and are of course ^invisible unde 
ordinary circumstances. By a great deal of gaming of 
eyes, and sheltering them with the hand from the light, some 


little idea of the design may be obtained. The "St. Rocco' y 
is a fine figure, though rather coarse, but, at all events, worth as 
much light as would enable us to see it. 

22. St. Sebastian. This, the companion figure, is one of the 
finest things in the whole room, and assuredly the most majes- 
tic Saint Sebastian in existence; as far as mere humanity can_ 
be majestic, for there is no effort at any expression of angelic 
or saintly resignation; the effort is simply to realize the fact of 
the martyrdom, and it seems to me that this is done to an ex-_ 
tent not even attempted by any other painter. I never saw a 
man die a violent death, and therefore cannot say whether this 
figure be true or not, but it gives the grandest and most intense 
impression of truth. The figure is dead, and well it may be, 
for there is one arrow through the forehead and another 
through the heart; but the eyes are open, though glazed, and 
the body is rigid in the position in which it last stood, the left 
arm raised and the left limb advanced, something in the atti- 
tude of a soldier sustaining an attack under his shield, while- 
the dead eyes are still turned in the direction from which the 
arrows came: but the most characteristic feature is the way these 
arrows are fixed. In the common martyrdoms of St. Sebastian 
they are stuck into him here and there like pins, as if they had 
been shot from a great distance and had come faltering down, 
entering the flesh but a little way, and rather bleeding the saint 
to death than mortally wounding him; but Tintoret had no such 
ideas about archery. He must have seen bows drawn in battle, 
like that of Jehu when he smote Jehoram between the harness: 
all the arrows in the saint's body lie straight in the same direc- 
tion, broad-feathered and strong-shafted, and sent apparently 
with the force of thunderbolts; every one of them has gone 
through him like a lance, two through the limbs, one through 
the arm, one through the heart, and the last has crashed 
through the forehead, nailing the head to the tree bahind as if 
it had been dashed in by a sledge-hammer. The face, in spite 
of its ghastliness, is beautiful, and has been serene; and the 
light which enters first and glistens on the plumes of the arrows, 
dies softly away upon the curling hair, and mixes with the glory 
upon the forehead. There is not a more remarkable picture in 
Venice, and yet I do not suppose that one in a thousand of the 



travellers who pass through the Scuola so much as perceives 
there is a picture in the place which it occupies. 

Third Group. On the roof of the upper room. 

23. Moses striking the Rock. 

24. Plague of Serpents. 

25. Fall of Manna. 

26. Jacob's Dream. 

27. Ezekiel's Vision. 

28. Fall of Man. 

29. Elijah. 

30. Jonah. 

31. Joshua. 

32. Sacrifice of Isaac. 

33. Elijah at the Brook. 

34. Paschal Feast. 

35. Elisha feeding the People. 

23. Moses striking the Rock. We now come to the series of 
pictures upon which the painter concentrated the strength he 
had reserved for the upper room; and in some sort wisely, for, 
though it is not pleasant to examine pictures on a ceiling, they ; 
are at least distinctly visible without straining the eyes against ; 
the light. They are carefully conceived and thoroughly well j 
painted in proportion to their distance from the eye. This 
carefulness of thought is apparent at a glance: the " Moses , 
striking the Rock " embraces the whole of the seventeenth chap- ; 
ter of Exodus, and even something more, for it is not from that 
chapter, but from parallel passages that we gather the facts of 
the impatience of Moses and the wrath of God at the waters of 
Meribah; both which facts are shown by the leaping of the' 
stream out of the rock half-a-dozen ways at once, forming a 
great arch over the head of Moses, and by the partial veiling 
of the countenance of the Supreme Being. This latter is the 
most painful part of the whole picture, at least as it is seen from 
below; and I believe that in some repairs of the roof this head 


must have been destroyed and repainted. It is one of Tinto- 
ret's usual fine thoughts that the lower part of the figure is 
veiled, not merely by clouds, but in a kind of watery sphere, 
showing the Deity coming to the Israelites at that particular 
moment as the Lord of the Rivers and of the Fountain of the 
Waters. The whole figure, as well as that of Moses and the 
.'greater number of those in the foreground, is at once dark and 
warm, black and red being the prevailing colors, while the 
distance is bright gold touched with blue, and seems to open 
into the picture like a break of blue sky after rain. How ex- 
quisite is this expression, by mere color, of the main force of the 
fact represented! that is to say, joy and refreshment after sorrow 
: and scorching heat. But, when we examine of what this dis-^ 
tance consists, we shall find still more cause for admiration. 
'The blue in it is not the blue of sky, it is obtained by blue 
stripes upon white tents glowing in the sunshine; and in front 
of these tents is seen that great battle with Amalek of which 
the account is given in the remainder of the chapter, and for 
which the Israelites received strength in the streams which ran 
out of the rock in Horeb. Considered merely as a picture, the 
opposition of cool light to warm shadow is one of the most re- 
markable pieces of color in the Scuola, and the great mass of 
foliage which waves over the rocks on the left appears to have 
been elaborated with his highest power and his most sublime 
invention. But this noble passage is much injured, and now 
hardly visible. 

24. Plague of Serpents. The figures in the distance are \ 
remarkably important in this picture, Moses himself being 
among them; in fact, the whole scene is filled chiefly with 
middle-sized figures, in order to increase the impression of 
space. It is interesting to observe the difference in the treat- 
ment of this subject by the three great painters, Michael 
Angelo, Rubens, and Tintoret. The first two, equal to the 
latter in energy, had less love of liberty: they were fond of 
binding their compositions into knots, Tintoret of scattering 
his far and wide: they all alike preserve the unity of compo- 
sition, but the unity in the first two is obtained by binding, 
and that of the last by springing from one source ; and, 
together with this feeling, comes his love of space, which 


makes him less regard the rounding and form of objects 
themselves, than their relations of light and shade and dis- 
tance. Therefore Rubens and Michael Angelo made the fiery 
serpents huge boa constrictors, and knotted the sufferers 
together with them. Tintoret does not like to be so bound; 
so he makes the serpents little flying and fluttering monsters 
like lampreys with wings; and the children of Israel, instead 
of being thrown into convulsed and writhing groups, are scat- : 
tered, fainting in the fields, far away in the distance. As usual, 
Tintoret's conception, while thoroughly characteristic of him- 
self, is also truer to the words of Scripture. We are told that 
"the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit 
the people;" we are not told that they crushed the people to. 
death. And while thus the truest, it is also the most terrific 
conception. M. Angelo's would be terrific if one could be- 
lieve in it: but our instinct tells us that boa constrictors do 
not come in armies; and we look upon the picture with as 
little emotion as upon the handle of a vase, or any other form 
worked out of serpents, where there is no probability of ser- 
pents actually occurring. But there is a probability in Tin-] 
toret's conception. We feel that it is not impossible that 
there should come up a swarm of these small winged reptiles: 
and their horror is not diminished by their smallness: not 
that they have any of the grotesque terribleness of German 
invention; they might have been made infinitely uglier with 
small pains, but it is their veritaUeness which makes them 
awful. They have triangular heads with sharp beaks or 
muzzle; and short, rather thick bodies, with bony processes 
down the back like those of sturgeons; and small wings 
spotted with orange and black; and round glaring eyes, not 
very large, but very ghastly, with an intense delight in biting 
expressed in them. (It is observable, that the Venetian 
painter has got his main idea of them from the sea-horses 
and small reptiles of the Lagoons.) These monsters are flut- 
tering and writhing about everywhere, fixing on whate 
they come near with their sharp venomous heads; and 
are coiling about on the ground, and all the shadows and 
thickets are full of them, so that there is no escape anywh 
and, in order to give the idea of greater extent to the plague, , 


Tintoret lias not been content "with one horizon; I have before 
mentioned the excessive strangeness of this composition, in 
having a cavern open in the right of the foreground, through 
which is seen another sky and another horizon. At the top 
of the picture, the Divine Being is seen borne by angels, 
apparently passing over the congregation in wrath, involved 
in masses of dark clouds; while, behind, an Angel of mercy 
is descending toward Moses, surrounded by a globe of white I 
light. This globe is hardly seen from below; it is not a common I 
glory, but a transparent sphere, like a bubble, which not only 
envelopes the angel, but crosses the figure of Moses, throwing 
the upper part of it into a subdued pale color, as if it were 
crossed by a sunbeam. Tintoret is the only painter who plays 
these tricks with transparent light, the only man who seems i 
to have perceived the effects of sunbeams, mists, and clouds, 
in the far away atmosphere; and to have used what he saw on 
towers, clouds, or mountains, to enhance the sublimity of his 
figures. The whole upper part of this picture is magnificent, 
less with respect to individual figures, than for the drift of its 
clouds, and originalty and complication of its light and shade; 
it is something like Raffaelle's "Vision of Ezekiel," but far 
finer. It is difficult to understand how any painter, who could 
represent floating clouds so nobly as he has done here, could 
ever paint the odd, round, pillowy masses which so often occur 
in his more carelessly designed sacred subjects. The lower 
figures are not so interesting, and the whole is painted with a 
view to effect from below, and gains little by close examina- 

25. Fall of Manna. In none of these three large composi- 
tions has the painter made the slightest effort at expression in 
the human countenance; everything is done by gesture, and 
the faces of the people who are drinking from the rock, dying 
from the serpent-bites, and eating the manna, are all alike as 
calm as if nothing was happening; in addition to this, as they 
are painted for distant effect, the heads are unsatisfactory I 
and coarse when seen near, and perhaps in this last picture 
the more so, and yet the story is exquisitely told. We have 
seen in the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore another example 
of his treatment of it, where, however, the gathering of 


manna is a subordinate employment, but here it is prin- 
cipal. Now, observe, we are told of the manna, that it was 
found in the morning; that then there lay round about the 
camp a small round thing like the hoar-frost, and that "when 
the sun waxed hot it melted." Tintoret has endeavored, 
therefore, first of all, to give the idea of coolness; the congre- 
gation are reposing in a soft green meadow, surrounded by 
blue hills, and there are rich trees above them, to the branches 
of one of which is attached a great grey drapery to catch the j 
manna as it comes down. In any other picture such a mass! 
of drapery would assuredly have had some vivid color, but here 
it is grey; the fields are cool frosty green, the mountains cold^ 1 
blue, and, to complete the expression and meaning of all this, ; 
there is a most important point to be noted in the form of the 
Deity, seen above, through an opening in the clouds. There 
are at least ten or twelve other pictures in which the form of 
the Supreme Being occurs, to be found in the Scuola di San^ 
Eocco alone; and in every one of these instances it is richly 
colored, the garments being generally red and blue, but in 
this picture of the manna the figure is snow loliite. Thus the 
painter endeavors to show the Deity as the giver of bread, 
just as in the " Striking of the Kock" we saw that he repre- 
sented Him as the Lord of the rivers, the fountains, and the 
waters. There is one other very sweet incident at the bottom 
of the picture; four or five sheep, instead of pasturing, turn 
their heads aside to catch the manna as it comes down, 
or seem to be licking it off each other's fleeces. The tree 
above, to which the drapery is tied, is the most delicate and 
delightful piece of leafage in all the Scuola; it has a large 
sharp leaf, something like that of a willow, but five times the 

26. JacoVs Dream. A picture which has good effect from J 
below, but gains little when seen near. It is an embarrassing .' 
one for any painter, because angels always look awkward going 
-up and down stairs; one does not see the use of their wings. ; 
Tintoret has thrown them into buoyant and various attitudes, 
but has evidently not treated the subject with delight; and it 
is seen to all the more disadvantage because just above the 
painting of the "Ascension," in which the full fresh power 


of the painter is developed. One would think this latter pic- 
ture had been done just after a walk among hills, for it is 
full of the most delicate effects of transparent cloud, more or I 
less veiling the faces and forms of the angels, and covering I 
with white light the silvery sprays of the palms, while the 
clouds in the "Jacob's Dream" are the ordinary rotundities of 
the studio. 

27. Ezekiel's Vision. I suspect this has been repainted, it 
is so heavy and dead in color; a fault, however, observable in 
many of the small pictures on the ceiling, and perhaps the 
natural result of the fatigue of such a mind as Tintoret's. A 
painter who threw such intense energy into some of his works 
can hardly but have been languid in others in a degree never 
experienced by the more tranquil minds of less powerful work- 
men; and when this languor overtook him whilst he was at 
work on pictures where a certain space had to be covered by 
mere force of arm, this heaviness of color could hardly but 
have been the consequence : it shows itself chiefly in reds and 
other hot hues, many of the pictures in the Ducal Palace also 
displaying it in a painful degree. This " Ezekiel's Vision" is, 
however, in some measure worthy of the master, in the wild 
and horrible energy with which the skeletons are leaping up 
about the prophet; but it might have been less horrible and 
more sublime, no attempt being made to represent the space 
of the Valley of Dry Bones, and the whole canvas being occu- 
pied only by eight figures, of which five are half skeletons. It 
it is strange that, in such a subject, the prevailing hues should 
be red and brown. 

28. Fall of Man. The two canvases last named are the 
most considerable in size upon the roof, after the centre 
pieces. We now come to the smaller subjects which sur- 
round the " Striking the Rock;" of these this " Fall of Man" 
is the best, and I should think it very fine anywhere but in 
the Scuola di San Rocco; there is a grand light on the body of ' 
Eve, and the vegetation is remarkably rich, but the faces are 
coarse, and the composition uninteresting. I could not get .', 
near enough to see what the grey object is upon which Eve 
appears to be sitting, nor could I see any serpent. It is 
made prominent in the picture of the Academy of this same- 


subject, so that I suppose it is hidden in the darkness, together 
with much detail which it would be necessary to discover in 
order to judge the work justly. 

29. Elijah (?). A prophet holding down his face, which is 
covered with his hand. God is talking with him, apparently 
in rebuke. The clothes on his breast are rent, and the action 
of the figures might suggest the idea of the scene between the 
Deity and Elijah at Horeb: but there is no suggestion of the 
past magnificent scenery, of the wind, the earthquake, or 
the fire; so that the conjecture is good for very little. The 
painting is of small interest; the faces are vulgar, and the 
draperies have too much vapid historical dignity to be de- 

30. Jonah. The whale here occupies fully one-half of the 
canvas; being correspondent in value with a landscape back- 
ground. His mouth is as large as a cavern, and yet, unless 
the mass of red color in the foreground be a piece of drapery, 
his tongue is too large for it. He seems to have lifted Jonah 
out upon it, and not yet drawn it back, so that it forms a kind 
of crimson cushion for him to kneel upon in his submission to 
the Deity. The head to which this vast tongue belongs is 
sketched in somewhat loosely, and there is little remarkable 
about it except its size, nor much in the figures, though the 
submissiveness of Jonah is well given. The great thought of 
Michael Angelo renders one little charitable to any less imag- 
inative treatment of this subject 

31. Joshua (?). This is a most interesting picture, and it 
is a shame that its subject is not made out, for it is not a com- 
mon one. The figure has a sword in its hand, and looks up to] 
a sky full of fire, out of which the form of the Deity is stoop- 1 
ing, represented as white and colorless. On the other side of \ 
the picture there is seen among the clouds a pillar apparently 
falling, and there is a crowd at the feet of the principal figure, 
carrying spears. Unless this be Joshua at the fall of Jericho, 
I cannot tell what it means ; it is painted with great vigor, 
and worthy of a better place. 

32. Sacrifice of Isaac. In conception, it is one of the least 
worthy of the master in the whole room, the three figures be- 
ing thrown into violent attitudes, as inexpressive as they are 


strained and artificial. It appears to have been vigorously 
painted, but vulgarly ; that is to say, the light is concen- 
trated upon the white beard and upturned countenance of 
Abraham, as it would have been in one of the dramatic effects 
of the French school, the result being that the head is very 
bright and very conspicuous, and perhaps, in some of the late 
operations upon the roof, recently washed and touched. In 
consequence, every one who comes into the room, is first in- 
vited to observe the " bella testa di Abramo." The only thing 
characteristic of Tintoret is the way in which the pieces of 
ragged wood are tossed hither and thither in the pile upon 
which Isaac is bound, although this scattering of the wood is 
inconsistent with the Scriptural account of Abraham's delib- 
erate procedure, for we are told of him that " he set the wood 
in order." But Tintoret had probably not noticed this, and 
thought the tossing of the timber into the disordered heap 
more like the act of the father in his agony. 

33. Elijah at the Brook Cherith (9). I cannot tell if I have 
rightly interpreted the. meaning of this picture, which merely 
represents a noble figure couched upon the ground, and an 
angel appearing to him ; but I think that between the dark 
tree on the left, and the recumbent figure, there is some ap- 
pearance of a running stream, at all events there is of a 
mountainous and stony place. The longer I study this mas- 
ter, the more I feel the strange likeness between him and 
Turner, in our never knowing what subject it is that will stir 
him to exertion. We have lately had him treating Jacob's 
Dream, Ezekiel's Vision, Abraham's Sacrifice, and Jonah's 
Prayer, (all of them subjects on which the greatest painters 
have delighted to expend their strength,) with coldness, care- 
lessness, and evident absence of delight ; and here, on a sud- 
den, in a subject so indistinct that one cannot be sure of its 
meaning, and embracing only two figures, a man and an angel, 
forth he starts in his full strength. I believe he must some- 
where or another, the day before, have seen a kingfisher ; for 
this picture seems entirely painted for the sake of the glorious 
downy wings of the angel, white clouded with blue, as the 
bird's head and wings are with green, the softest and most 
elaborate in plumage that I have seen in any of his works : 


but observe also the general sublimity obtained by the mount- 
ainous lines of the drapery of the recumbent figure, dependent 
for its dignity upon these forms alone, as the face is more than 
half hidden, and what is seen of it expressionless. 

34. The Paschal Feast. I name this picture by the title given 
in the guide-books ; it represents merely five persons watching 
the increase of a small fire lighted on a table or altar in the 
midst of them. It is only because they have all staves in their 
hands that one may conjecture this fire to be that kindled to 
consume the Paschal offering. The effect is of course a fire 
light ; and, like all mere fire lights that I have ever seen, 
totally devoid of interest. 

35. Elisha feeding the People. I again guess at the subject : 
the picture only represents a figure casting down a number of 
loaves before a multitude ; but, as Elisha has not elsewhere 
occurred, I suppose that these must be the barley loaves brought 
from Baalshalisha. In conception and manner of painting, 
this picture and the last, together with the others above- 
mentioned, in comparison with the "Elijah at Cherith," may^ 
be generally described as " dregs of Tintoret :" they are tired, ; 
dead, dragged out upon the canvas apparently in the heavy- ; 
hearted state which a man falls into when he is both jaded 1 
with toil and sick of the work he is employed upon. They 
are not hastily painted ; on the contrary, finished with con-! 
siderably more care than several of the works upon the walls ; 
but those, as, for instance, the "Agony in the Garden," are 
hurried sketches with the man's whole heart in them, while 
these pictures are exhausted fulfilments of an appointed task. 
Whether they were really amongst the last painted, or whether 
the painter had fallen ill at some intermediate time, I cannot 
say ; but we shall find him again in his utmost strength in the 
room which we last enter. 


Fourth Group. Inner room on the upper floor. 

On the Roof. 

36 to 39. Children's Heads. 41 to 44. Children. 
40. St. Rocco in Heaven. 45 to 56. Allegorical Figures. 

On the Walls. 

57. Figure in Niche. 60. Ecce Homo. 

58. Figure in Niche. 61. Christ bearing his Cross. 

59. Christ before Pilate. 62. CRUCIFIXION. 

36 to 39. Four Children's Heads, which it is much to be re- 
gretted should be thus lost in filling small vacuities of the ceiling. 

40. St. Rocco in Heaven. The central picture of the roof, 
in the inner room. From the well-known anecdote respecting 
the production of this picture, whether in all its details true or 
not, we may at least gather that having been painted in competi- 
tion with Paul Veronese and other powerful painters of the 
day, it was probably Tintoret's endeavor to make it as popular 
and showy as possible. It is quite different from his common 
works ; bright in all its tints and tones ; the faces carefully 


drawn, and of an agreeable type ; the outlines firm, and the 
shadows few ; the whole resembling Correggio more than any 
Venetian painter. It is, however, an example of the danger, 
even to the greatest artist, of leaving his own style ; for it lacks 
all the great virtues of Tintoret, without obtaining the luscious- 
ness of Correggio. One thing, at all events, is remarkable in it, 
that, though painted while the competitors were making their 
sketches, it shows no sign of haste or inattention. 
41 to 44. Figures of Children, merely decorative. 
45 to 56. Allegorical Figures on the Roof. If these were not 
in the same room with the " Crucifixion," they would attract 
more public attention than any works in the Scuola, as there are 
here no black shadows, nor extravagances of invention, but very 
beautiful figures richly and delicately colored, a good deal re- 
sembling some of the best works of Andrea del Sarto. There is 
nothing in them, however, requiring detailed examination. The 
two figures between the windows are very slovenly, if they are 
his at all ; and there are bits of marbling and fruit filling the 
cornices, which may or may not be his : if they are, they are 
tired work, and of small importance. ^ 

59. Christ before Pilate. A most interesting picture, but, 
which is unusual, best seen on a dark day, when the white figure i 
of Christ alone draws the eye, looking almost like a spirit ; the / 
painting of the rest of the picture being both somewhat thin and 
imperfect. There is a certain meagreness about all the minor 
figures, less grandeur and largeness in the limbs and draperies, 
and less solidity, it seems, even in the color, although its ar- 
rangements are richer than in many of the compositions above 
described. I hardly know whether it is owing to this thinness 
of color, or on purpose, that the horizontal clouds shine through ( 
the crimson flag in the distance ; though I should think the lat- 
ter, for the effect is most beautiful. The passionate action of. 
the Scribe in lifting his hand to dip the pen into the ink-honi 
is, however, affected and overstrained, and the Pilate is very 
mean; perhaps intentionally, that no reverence might be with- 
drawn from the person of Christ. In work of the thirteenth 
and fourteenth centuries, the figures of Pilate and Herod are 
.always intentionally made contemptible. 

Ecce Homo. As usual, Tmtoret's own peculiar view of the 


subject. Christ is laid fainting on the ground, with a soldier 
standing on one side of him ; while Pilate, on the other, with- 
draws the robe from the scourged and wounded body, and points 
it out to the Jews. Both this and the picture last mentioned 
resemble Titian more than Tintoret in the style of their treat- 

61. Christ bearing his Cross. Tintoret is here recognizable 
again in undiminished strength. He has represented the troops 
and attendants climbing Calvary by a winding path, of which 
two turns are seen, the figures on the uppermost ledge, and 
Christ in the centre of them, being relieved against the sky ; 
but, instead of the usual simple expedient of the bright horizon 
to relieve the dark masses, there is here introduced, on the left, 
the head of a white horse, which blends itself with the sky in 
one broad mass of light. The power of the picture is chiefly in 
effect, the figure of Christ being too far off to be very interest- 
ing, and only the malefactors being seen on the nearer path; 
but for this very reason it seems to me more impressive, as if 
one had been truly present at the scene, though not exactly in 
the right place for seeing it. 

62. The Crucifixion. I must leave this picture to work its 
will on the spectator ; for it is beyond all analysis, and above all 


SAGREDO, PALAZZO, on the Grand Canal, II. 256. Much de- 
faced, but full of interest. Its sea story is restored ; its first 
floor has a most interesting arcade of the early thirteenth 
century third order windows ; its upper windows are the finest 
fourth and fifth orders of early fourteenth century ; the group 
of fourth orders in the centre being brought into some resem- 
blance to the late Gothic traceries by the subsequent intro- 
duction of the quatrefoils above them. 

II. 378. One of the earliest buildings of the Grotesque Re- 
naissance, rendered impressive by its position, size, and general 
proportions. These latter are exceedingly good ; the grace 
of the whole building being chiefly dependent on the ine- 
quality of size in its cupolas., and pretty grouping of the two 
campaniles behind them. It is to be generally observed that 


the proportions of buildings have nothing whatever to do with 
the style or general merits of their architecture. An architect 
trained in the worst schools, and utterly devoid of all meaning 
or purpose in his work, may yet have such a natural gift of 
massing and grouping as will render all his structures effec- 
tive when seen from a distance : such a gift is very general 
with the late Italian builders, so that many of the most con- 
temptible edifices in the country have good stage effect so long 
as we do not approach them. The Church of the Salute is 
farther assisted by the beautiful flight of steps in front of it 
down to the canal ; and its facade is rich and beautiful of its 
kind, and was chosen by Turner for the principal object in his 
well-known view of the Grand Canal. The principal faults of 
the building are the meagre windows in the sides of the cupola, 
and the ridiculous disguise of the buttresses under the form of 
colossal scrolls ; the buttresses themselves being originally a 
hypocrisy, for the cupola is stated by Lazari to be of timber, and 
therefore needs none. The sacristy contains several precious 
pictures : the three on its roof by Titian, much vaunted, are 
indeed as feeble as they are monstrous ; but the small Titian, 
" St. Mark, with Sts. Cosmo and Damian," was, when I first 
saw it, to my judgment, by far the first work of Titian's in 
Venice. It has since been restored by the Academy, and it 
seemed to me entirely destroyed, but I had not time to examine 

it carefully. 

At the end of the larger sacristy is the lunette which once 
decorated the tomb of the Doge Francesco Dandolo (see above 
page 74); and, at the side of it, one of the most highly finished 
Tintorets in Venice, namely : 

The Marriage in Cana. An immense picture, some twenty- 
five feet long by fifteen high, and said by Lazari to be one < 
the few which Tintoret signed with his name, 
prised at his having done so in this case. Evidently the wor 
has been a favorite with him, and he has taken as much pains 
as it was ever necessary for his colossal strength to take * 
anything. The subject is not one which admits of much s. 
gularity'or energy in composition. It was always a fa 
one with Veronese, because it gave dramatic interest to fi; 
in gay costumes and of cheerful countenances ; but one ft 


prised to find Tintoret, whose tone of mind was always grave, 
and who did not like to make a picture out of brocades and 
diadems, throwing his whole strength into the conception of a 
marriage feast ; but so it is, and there are assuredly no female 
heads in any of his pictures in Venice elaborated so far as those 
which here form the central light. Neither is it often that the 
works of this mighty master conform themselves to any of the 
rules acted upon by ordinary painters ; but in this instance the 
popular laws have been observed, and an academy student 
would be delighted to see with what severity the principal light 
is arranged in a central mass, which is divided and made more 
brilliant by a vigorous piece of shadow thrust into the midst of \ 
it, and which dies away in lesser fragments and sparkling to- 
wards the extremities of the picture. This mass of light is as 
interesting by its composition as by its intensity. The cice- 
rone who escorts the stranger round the sacristy in the course 
of five minutes, and allows him some forty seconds for the 
contemplation of a picture which the study of six months 
would not entirely fathom, directs his attention very carefully 
to the "bell' effetto di prospettivo," the whole merit of the 
picture being, in the eyes of the intelligent public, that there 
is a long table in it, one end of which looks farther off than 
the other ; but there is more in the " bell' effetto di prospet- 
tivo" than the observance of the common laws of optics. The 
table, is set in a spacious chamber, of which the windows at the 
end let in the light from the horizon, and those in the side j 
wall the intense blue of an Eastern sky. The spectator looks 
all along the table, at the farther end of which are seated 
Christ and the Madonna, the marriage guests on each side of 
it, on one side men, on the other women ; the men are set 
with their backs to the light, which passing over their heads 
and glancing slightly on the tablecloth, falls in full length 
along the line of young Venetian women, who thus fill the 
whole centre of the picture with one broad sunbeam, made up 
of fair faces and golden hair. Close to the spectator a woman 
has risen in amazement, and stretches across the table to show 
the wine in her cup to those opposite ; her dark red dress in- 
tercepts and enhances the mass of gathered light. It is rather 
curious, considering the subject of the picture, that one can- 

SALUTE. 369 

not distinguish either the bride or the bridegroom ; but the 
fourth figure from the Madonna in the line of women, who 
wears ia white head-dress of lace and rich chains of pearls in 
her hair, may well be accepted for the former, and I think that 
between her and the woman on the Madonna's left hand the 
unity of the line of women is intercepted by a male figure ; be 
this as it may, this fourth female face is the most beautiful, as 
far as I recollect, that occurs in the works of the painter, with 
the exception only of the Madonna in the " Flight into Egypt." 
It is an ideal which occurs indeed elsewhere in many of his 
works, a face at once dark and delicate, the Italian cast of 
feature moulded with the softness and childishness of English 
beauty some half a century ago ; but I have never seen the 
ideal so completely worked out by the master. The face may 
"best be described as one of the purest and softest of Stothard's 
conceptions, executed with all the strength of Tintoret. The 
other women are all made inferior to this one, but there are 
beautiful profiles and bendings of breasts and necks along the 
whole line. The men are all subordinate, though there are in- 
teresting portraits among them ; perhaps the only fault of the 
picture being that the faces are a little too conspicuous, seen 
like balls of light among the crowd of minor figures which fill 
the background of the picture. The tone of the whole is sober 
and majestic in the highest degree ; the dresses are all broad 
masses of color, and the only parts of the picture which lay 
claim to the expression of wealth or splendor are the head- 
dresses of the women. In this respect the conception of the 
scene differs widely from that of Veronese, and approaches 
more nearly to the probable truth. Still the marriage is not 
an unimportant one ; an immense crowd, filling the back- 
ground, forming superbly rich mosaic of color against the dig- . 
tant sky. Taken as a whole, the picture is perhaps the most 
perfect example which human art has produced of the utmost 
possible force and sharpness of shadow united with richness of 
local color. In all the other works of Tintoret, and much 
more of other colorists, either the light and shade or the local 
color is predominant ; in the one case the picture has a ten- 
dency to look as if painted by candle-light, in the other il 
comes daringly conventional, and approaches the condikor 


glass-painting. This picture unites color as rich as Titian's 
with light and shade as forcible as Rembrandt's, and far more 

There are one or two other interesting pictures of the early 
Venetian schools in this sacristy, and several important tombs 
in the adjoining cloister ; among which that of Francesco 
Dandolo, transported here from the Church of the Frari, de- 
serves especial attention. See above, p. 74. 

SALVATORE, CHURCH or ST. Base Renaissance, occupying the 
place of the ancient church, under the porch of which the 
Pope Alexander III. is said to have passed the night. M. 
Lazari states it to have been richly decorated with mosaics ; 
now all is gone. 

In the interior of the church are some of the best examples 
of Renaissance sculptural monuments in Venice. (See above, 
Chap. II. LXXX.) It is said to possess an important pala of 
silver, of the thirteenth century, one of the objects in Venice 
which I much regret having forgotten to examine ; besides 
two Titians, a Bonifazio, and a John Bellini. The latter 
(" The Supper at Emmaus") must, I think, have been entirely 
repainted : it is not only unworthy of the master, but unlike 
him ; as far, at least, as I could see from below, for it is hung 

SANUDO PALAZZO. At the Miracoli. A noble Gothic palace of 
the fourteenth century, with Byzantine fragments and cor- 
nices built into its walls, especially round the interior court, in 
which the staircase is very noble. Its door, opening on the 
quay, is the only one in Venice entirely uninjured ; retaining 
its wooden valve richly sculptured, its wicket for examination 
of the stranger demanding admittance, and its quaint knocker 
in the form of a fish. 

SCALZI, CHURCH OF THE. It possesses a fine John Bellini, and 
is renowned through Venice for its precious marbles. I omitted 
to notice above, in speaking of the buildings of the Grotesque 
Renaissance, that many of them are remarkable for a kind of 
dishonesty, even in the use of true marbles, resulting not from 
motives of economy, but from mere love of juggling and false- 
hood for their own sake. I hardly know which condition of 
mind is meanest, that which has pride in plaster made to look 


like marble, or that which takes delight in marble made to 
look like silk. Several of the later churches in Venice, more 
especially those of the Jesuiti, of San Clemente, and this of 
the Scalzi, rest their chief claims to admiration on their hav- 
ing curtains and cushions cut out of rock. The most ridicu- 
lous example is in San Clemente, and the most curious and 
costly are in the Scalzi ; which latter church is a perfect type 
of the vulgar abuse of marble in every possible way, by men 
who had no eye for color, and no understanding of any merit 
in a work of art but that which arises from costliness of ma- 
terial, and such powers of imitation as are devoted in England 
to the manufacture of peaches and eggs out of Derbyshire 

SEBASTIAN, CHURCH OF ST. The tomb, and of old the monu- 
ment, of Paul Veronese. It is full of his noblest pictures, or 
of what once were such ; but they seemed to me for the most 
part destroyed by repainting. I had not time to examine them 
justly, but I would especially direct the traveller's attention to 
the small Madonna over the second altar on the right of the 
nave, still a perfect and priceless treasure. 

iSERVi, CHURCH OF THE. Only two of its gates and some ruined 
walls are left, in one of the foulest districts of the city. It was 
one of the most interesting monuments of the early fourteenth 
century Gothic ; and there is much beauty in the fragments 
yet remaining. How long they may stand I know not, the 
whole building having been offered me for sale, ground and 
all, or stone by stone, as I chose, by its present proprietor, 
when I was last in Venice. More real good might at present 
be effected by any wealthy person who would devote his re- 
sources to the preservation of such monuments wherever 
they exist, by freehold purchase of the entire ruin, and after- 
wards by taking proper charge of it, and forming a garden 
round it, than by any other mode of protecting or encouraging 
art. There is no school, no lecturer, like a ruin of the early 

SEVERO, FONDAMENTA SAN, palace at, II. 264. 

SILVESTRO, CHURCH OF ST. Of no importance in itself, but it 
contains two very interesting pictures: the first, a 
Thomas of Canterbury with the Baptist and St. Francis," by 


Girolamo Santa Croce, a superb example of the Venetian reli- 
gious school; the second by Tintoret, namely: 

The Baptism of Christ. (Over the first altar on the right 
of the nave.) An upright picture, some ten feet wide by 
fifteen high; the top of it is arched, representing the Father 
supported by angels. It requires little knowledge of Tintoret 
to see that these figures are not by his hand. By returning 
to the opposite side of the nave, the join in the canvas may be 
plainly seen, the upper part of the picture having been entirely 
added on: whether it had this upper part before it was re- 
painted, or whether originally square, cannot now be told, but 
I believe it had an upper part which has been destroyed. I 
am not sure if even the dove and the two angels which are at 
the top of the older part of the picture are quite genuine. 
The rest of it is magnificent, though both the figures of the 
Saviour and the Baptist show some concession on the part of 
the painter to the imperative requirement of his age, that 
nothing should be done except in an attitude; neither are there 
any of his usual fantastic imaginations. There is simply the 
Christ in the water and the St. John on the shore, without 
attendants, disciples, or witnesses of any kind; but the power 
of the light and shade, and the splendor of the landscape, 
which on the whole is well preserved, render it a most interest- 
ing example. The Jordan is represented as a mountain brook, 
receiving a tributary stream in a cascade from the rocks, in 
which St. John stands: there is a rounded stone in the centre 
of the current; and the parting of the water at this, as well as 
its rippling among the roots of some dark trees on the left, are 
among the most accurate remembrances of nature to be found 
in any of the works of the great masters. I hardly know 
whether most to wonder at the power of the man who thus 
broke through the neglect of nature which was universal at 
his time; or at the evidences, visible throughout the whole of 
the conception, that he was still content to paint from slight 
memories of what he had seen in hill countries, instead of fol- 
lowing out to its full depth the fountain which he had opened. 
There is not a stream among the hills of Priuli which in any 
quarter of a mile of its course would not have suggested to him 
finer forms of cascade than those which he has idly painted at 


SIMEONE, PROFETA, CHURCH OF ST. Very important, though 
small, possessing the precious statue of St. Simeon, above 
noticed, II. 309. The rare early Gothic capitals of the nave 
are only interesting to the architect; but in the little passage 
by the side of the church, leading out of the Campo, there is 
a curious Gothic monument built into the wall, very beautiful 
in the placing of the angels in the spandrils, and rich in the 
vine-leaf moulding above. 

SIMEONE, PICCOLO, CHURCH OF ST. One of the ugliest churches 
in Venice or elsewhere. Its black dome, like an unusual 
species of gasometer, is the admiration of modern Italian 

SOSPIRI, PONTE DE'. The well known " Bridge of Sighs," a 
work of no merit, and of a late period (see Vol. II. p. 304), 
owing the interest it possesses chiefly to its pretty name, and 
to the ignorant sentimentalism of Byron. 

SPIRITO SANTO, CHURCH OF THE. Of no importance. 

STEFANO, CHURCH OF ST. An interesting building of central 
Gothic, the best ecclesiastical example of it in Venice. The 
west entrance is much later than any of the rest, and is of the 
richest Renaissance Gothic, a little anterior to the Porta della 
Carta, and first-rate of its kind. The manner of the intro- 
duction of the figure of the angel at the top of the arch is full 
of beauty. Note the extravagant crockets and cusp finials as 
signs of decline. 

STEFANO, CHURCH OF ST., at Murano (pugnacity of its abbot), 
II. 33. The church' no longer exists. 

STROPE, CAMPIELLO BELLA, house in, II. 266. 


TANA, windows at the, II. 260. 

TIEPOLO, PALAZZO, on the Grand Canal. Of no importance. 

TOLENTINI, CHURCH OF THE. One of the basest and colder 

works of the late Renaissance. It is said to contain two 


TOMA, CHUKOH OF ST. Of no importance. 
TOMA, PONTE SAN. There is an interesting anment doorway 

opening on the canal close to this bridge, probably of 

twelfth century, and a good early Gothic door, opening upo, 

the bridge itself. 


TORCELLO, general aspect of, II. 12; Santa Fosca at, I. 117, II. 
13; duomo, II. 14; mosaics of, II. 196; measures of, II. 378; 
date of, II. 380. 


TRON, PALAZZO. Of no importance. 

TROVASO, CHURCH OF ST. Itself of no importance, but con- 
taining two pictures by Tintoret, namely: 

1. The Temptation of St. Anthony. (Altar piece in the 
chapel on the left of the choir.) A small and very carefully 
finished picture, but marvellously temperate and quiet in 
treatment, especially considering the subject, which one would 
have imagined likely to inspire the painter with one of his 
most fantastic visions. As if on purpose to disappoint us, both 
the effect, and the conception of the figures, are perfectly 
quiet, and appear the result much more of careful study than 
of vigorous imagination. The effect is one of plain daylight; 
there are a few clouds drifting in the distance, but with no 
wildness in them, nor is there any energy or heat in the flames 
which mantle about the waist of one of the figures. But for 
the noble workmanship, we might almost fancy it the produc- 
tion of a modern academy; yet as we begin to read the picture, 
the painter's mind becomes felt. St. Anthony is surrounded 
by four figures, one of which only has the form of a demon, 
and he is in the background, engaged in no more terrific act 
of violence toward St. Anthony, than endeavoring to pull off 
his mantle; he has, however, a scourge over his shoulder, but 
this is probably intended for St. Anthony's weapon of self- 
discipline, which the fiend, with a very Protestant turn of 
mind, is carrying off. A broken staff, with a bell hanging to 
it, at the saint's feet, also expresses his interrupted devotion. 
The three other figures beside him are bent on more cunning 
mischief: the woman on the left is one of Tintoret's best por- 
traits of a young and bright-eyed Venetian beauty. It is 
curious that he has given so attractive a countenance to a type 
apparently of the temptation to violate the power of poverty, 
for this woman places one hand in a vase full of coins, and 
shakes golden chains with the other. On the opposite side of 
the saint, another woman, admirably painted, but of a far less 
attractive countenance, is a type of the lusts of the flesh, yet 


there is nothing gross or immodest in her dress or gesture. 
She appears to have been baffled, and for the present to have 
given up addressing the saint: she lays one hand upon her 
breast, and might be taken for a very respectable person, but 
that there are flames playing about her loins. A recumbent 
figure on the ground is of less intelligible character, but may 
perhaps be meant for Indolence; at all events, he has torn the 
saint's book to pieces. I forgot to note, that under the figure 
representing Avarice, there is a creature like a pig; whether 
actual pig or not is unascertainable, for the church is dark, 
the little light that comes on the picture falls on it the wrong 
way, and one third of the lower part of it is hidden by a white 
case, containing a modern daub, lately painted by way of an 
altar piece; the meaning, as well as the merit, of the grand 
old picture being now far beyond the comprehension both of 
priests and people. 

2. The Last Supper. (On the left-hand side of the Chapel 
of the Sacrament. ) A picture which has been through the 
hands of the Academy, and is therefore now hardly worth 
notice. Its conception seems always to have been vulgar, and 
far below Tintoret's usual standard; there is singular baseness 
in the circumstance, that one of the near Apostles, while all 
the others are, as usual, intent upon Christ's words, " One of 
you shall betray me," is going to help himself to wine out of 
a bottle which stands behind him. In so doing he stoops to- 
wards the table, the flask being on the floor. If intended for 
the action of Judas at this moment, there is the painter's 
usual originality in the thought; but it seems to me rather 
done to obtain variation of posture, in bringing the red dress 
into strong contrast with the tablecloth. The color has once 
been fine, and there are fragments of good painting still left; 
but the light does not permit these to be seen, and there is too 
much perfect work of the master's in Venice, to permit us to 
spend time on retouched remnants. The picture is only 
worth mentioning, because it is ignorantly and ridiculously 
referred to by Kugler as characteristic of Tintoret. 



VITALI, CHURCH OF ST. Said to contain a picture by Vittor 
Carpaccio, over the high altar: otherwise of no importance. 

VOLTO SANTO, CHURCH OF THE. An interesting but desecrated 
ruin of the fourteenth century; fine in style. Its roof retains 
some fresco coloring, but, as far as I recollect, of later date 
than the architecture. 


ZACCARIA, CHURCH OF ST. Early Kenaissance, and fine of its 
kind; a Gothic chapel attached to it is of great beauty. It 
contains the best John Bellini in Venice, after that of San 
G. Grisostomo, " The Virgin, with Four Saints;" and is said 
to contain another John Bellini and a Tintoret, neither of 
which I have seen. 

ZITELLE, CHURCH OF THE. Of no importance. 

one valuable Tintoret, namely: 

Christ ivitli Sta. Justina and St. Augustin. (Over the 
third altar on the south side of the nave. ) A picture of small 
size, and upright, about ten feet by eight. Christ appears to 
be descending out of the clouds between the two saints, who 
are both kneeling on the sea shore. It is a Venetian sea, 
breaking on a flat beach, like the Lido, with a scarlet galley in 
the middle distance, of which the chief use is to unite the two 
figures by a point of color. Both the saints are respectable 
Venetians of the lower class, in homely dresses and with 
homely faces. The whole picture is quietly painted, and 
somewhat slightly; free from all extravagance, and displaying 
little power except in the general truth or harmony of colors 
so easily laid on. It is better preserved than usual, and worth 
dwelling upon as an instance of the style of the master when 
at rest. 

BINDING C_.. JUN 41973 




Ruskin, John 

The stones of Venice